The weekend before Thanksgiving, 12 Anderson University students traveled to Chicago as a delegation to Model United Nations. Model UN is a simulation of the United Nations where students represent the character and government positions of their assigned countries in discussions. AU participants studied and planned for several months to represent the African country of Oman.
The simulation included eight committees that worked to write resolutions or reports on current international issues. Each delegation sent one or two representatives to the committees their countries are in. At the end of the conference, the committees came together and brought their resolutions to the General Assembly to pass them into action.
[PHOTO: Anderson University senior Adam Renner looks over a resolution while sitting in committee.]
Model UN advisor Dr. Daniel Allen, assistant professor of political science at Anderson University, said he was “extremely impressed by our Model UN students. Their successes result from a deep commitment to study, plan, and work with others to craft quality solutions to global problems.” New to AU this year, Allen said he learned that AU students are “creative and have a great deal to offer their communities in terms of their service and leadership abilities.”
Senior and head delegate Adam Renner won the Best Delegate award for his committee. The Best Delegate award is voted on by each committee and is based on which delegate most effectively maintains the persona of a foreign nation’s diplomat. It is a recognition of charisma, knowledge, and the ability to play a role outside the typical viewpoint of a Western individual. “The award in itself is not the goal of the event, but rather the experience is the goal,” Renner said. “It is a sense of accomplishment though, in knowing that the committee I was in thought that I was well prepared, a competent debater and speaker, and personable enough to sway delegates in resolutions.”
Junior Elizabeth Vincent played a different role in the conference by being part of the International Press Delegation instead of representing Oman in a committee. “We produced two or three papers a day covering the developments in the different committees and feature stories,” Vincent explained. “It was the fastest turnaround time I have ever worked with, but it was great experience.”
[PHOTO: Anderson University students Marcus Smith and Oscar Ndao discuss their committee's issues at the Model UN.]
Paul Rusesabagina was the 2009 keynote speaker for the conference. The real-life hero saved more than 1,200 lives during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, and his story inspired the film Hotel Rwanda. He is also the president and founder of the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation, which Rusesabagina says “provides a voice to the victims of genocide and supports peace efforts in Rwanda and throughout the world.”
Each participant took away a different lesson. “My favorite part was the intense debates between other delegates,” said freshman Paige Warnock in agreement with several other participants who expressed the same feelings. “I learned a lot about how people in the real United Nations represent their countries, and it taught me to respect the people who control certain aspects of the nation I live in.”
— Elizabeth Vincent is a junior from Greenfield, Ind., majoring in communication arts and minoring in political science. Vincent is an associate with Fifth Street Communications writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.