From Jan. 30 to Feb. 6, 2012, six of Bellevue College’s students travelled to France for the annual National Model United Nations-Europe (NMUN-EU) Conference, the second most challenging NMUN conference in the world. The conference was hosted in Lille France by the university of Sciences Po Lille, and was held at Lille’s very own Conseil Regional (Regional Council Building) where regional politicians and diplomats meet.
The Model United Nations (MUN) Program is a simulation of the United Nations. Delegates from all over the world meet at conferences in order to discuss world issues. Every school is assigned a country and given a committee with different topics relevant to the world today. The students then have to represent their country to the best of their ability with regard to the issues under discussion.
Students enrolled at BC’s MUN Program were able to apply for the NMUN-EU conference, and only six were selected by Professor Tim Jones, Chair of the Political Science Department, and Aslam Khan, Advisor for the Model United Nations Program. Each student was asked to write a page essay explaining why he or she was interested in attending the conference, in addition to sharing both personal and academic successes.
The selected students also showed involvement both on campus and the community, as well as excellent knowledge in world politics and economics. Ana Palma-Gutierrez, Auric Kaur, Chloe Brown, James Gan, Michelle Fredrickson, and Monica Mendoza were the selected students to represent Bellevue College at the second most challenging NMUN conference in the world.
For this particular conference, the Bellevue College Delegation represented the Republic of Cuba, and students paired up in three different committees; the European Union and Latin America and Caribbean Summit (EU-LAC,) Rio+20, and the General Assembly. In the process of four days, the Bellevue College delegation managed to win second place in the top ten schools at the conference, and received the Distinguished Delegation Award. In addition, Delegates Kaur and Brown were recognized in their committee (Rio + 20) as the delegation that best represented the Conference on Sustainable Development.
“I am extremely proud of the fact that my students won an award this year. It is my first year as an adviser for the BC MUN program and I have been blessed with a great group of students this year,” said Tim Jones, Chair of the Political Science Department.
Although the rest of the delegates did not win any particular awards or recognitions, all EU-LAC Working Papers sponsored by Delegates Fredrickson and Palma-Gutierrez were passed into Resolution Papers and created into laws. In addition, Delegates Gan and Mendoza managed to write a successful Working Paper for the General Assembly.
The participating students expressed to have gained valuable experiences at the conference, and everyday brought new and rewarding tasks. However like any other participant of NMUN-EU, the Bellevue College Delegation had to battle through long working days and nights. The Model United Nations is a very rigorous program, students need to be highly committed and dedicated in order to have the best experience in any NMUN conference.
“We were pretty busy – I’d say our average hours of sleep per night were around three, maybe three and a half. The conference was the big event of the trip and the experience – it was exhausting, exhilarating, and absolutely amazing,” said Michelle Fredrickson, EU-LAC Summit Delegate.
In addition to attending the conference in Lille, the six BC students had the opportunity of visiting some of France’s most famous places, including Le Louvre, Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower. In addition, all participants of this year’s NMUN-EU had the opportunity of visiting Brussels, Belgium where they got a chance to visit the European Parliament, the German Embassy, as well as interacting with diplomats and governors from both the EU and the U.S.
With the experiences gained in France and Belgium, the Delegates feel more than ready to represent Bellevue College once more at this year’s NMUN-New York Conference, where they will be joined by the rest of their peers in their MUN class. From April 3-7, all 23 students will be representing the Republic of Cuba at the most challenging NMUN conference in the world.