C-SC students take part in U.S. Model United Nations
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
CANTON, MO. – Five Culver-Stockton students, Justine Shubert, Brittany Van Winkle, Carrie Fischer, Ariana Calderaro, and Jessica Reddick, took part in the Model United Nations in Chicago, Ill., recently, as part of the Model United Nations course offered at C-SC during the fall 12-week term.
“I decided to take the Model UN course because I was interested to see how the United Nations works. I thought that one day it might come in to good use when I am teaching in my classroom and I could incorporate the things I learned at the conference in my own lessons,” said Van Winkle, C-SC junior secondary education/social studies major from Florissant, Mo.
David Fistein, C-SC assistant professor of political science and sociology, said he decided to introduce the Model UN as a C-SC course “because it provides learning opportunities that cannot be replicated in class. It places students in real world situations where decisions have to be made, solutions to problems that really exist in this world have to be found, and it all has to be done by learning to cooperate with complete strangers who all have interests of their own.”
The Model UN, which has taken place since 1989, is a non-profit, educational organization that provides students with the most professionally run simulation of the United Nations available to students. College students from all over the United States and around the world take part.
The C-SC students represented Slovakia at the Model UN and prepared for the event with extensive learning and practice. They had to learn about the history, organization, policies, and agenda issues of the UN. They also had to learn everything that they could about the politics of the country that they represented.
“This includes their domestic politics and problems as well as their foreign policies. The students had to study what kinds of policies their country favors generally, specific policy initiatives that their country has sponsored in the real UN, and friends and enemies of the country and relations with both,” said Fistein.
The students also learned a few words in Slovakian, practiced giving short speeches, and how to write resolutions and treaties in the proper form, as they are written in the UN.
“There is even an entire book of rules that the Model UN conference submits, and we had to familiarize ourselves with the rules,” said Van Winkle.
“I enjoyed meeting new people and hearing about how their stories and how they prepared for the event. It was interesting to see how the United Nations works, and I walked away with a whole new perspective on the United Nations because it was not what I expected at all,” added Van Winkle.
“Students learn how to work together with others, build consensus, and communicate clearly. They also sharpen their critical thinking and problem solving skills. The course also provides opportunities for social and leadership development and helps students engage in global citizenship,” said Fistein. “They get to experience (as opposed to see or hear about) how global problems can be solved and how the difficulties of having to work with many contending countries and views can be overcome.”
OTHER FEATURED ARTICLES