March 29 to April 2, Bellevue College’s Model United Nations program went to New York to participate in the competitive National Model United Nations Conference B. The conference simulates a United Nations conference. Through Model United Nations, different schools represent different member nations and students organized into various U.N. issue-based committees. Bellevue College represented New Zealand and had students on 10 different committees.
The committees consisted of two students. They met regarding two to three issues and were tasked with writing an intensive two-page paper suggesting solutions to those issues from New Zealand’s point of view. In preparation for the conference, students researched and wrote papers on New Zealand’s policy positions in order to debate that country’s perspectives and speak to the committees in an attempt to reach a compromise or consensus on their issue.
Regarding his experience at the conference, student Gebriel Amare said, “I experienced the international diplomatic atmosphere. Collaborating with students from a variety of countries, such as Belgium, Egypt, Lebanon and Singapore showed me how to work with a diverse group of people to accomplish a task.”
Bellevue College’s delegation earned many awards and distinctions at the conference.
Student Ellen Gilley, president of the program at BC, said, “On the last day of the conference, two of our committees were recognized for Outstanding Position Papers, the delegates in the United Nations Development Program Kari Large and Jiseop Lee, as well as the delegates in the U.N.-Women committee, McKenzie Vega and Vanessa Ross. The delegation also received an Honorable Mention Delegation Award, which is a huge honor and a real testament to the students’ hard work.”
Amare said, “Everything was fun. I loved going to the UN Headquarters for the closing ceremony and meeting the Ambassador from New Zealand and Ethiopia was a big deal…. [Students can expect] a productive safe learning environment which will help students improve their public speaking skills. Also, students can expect to make connections that last a lifetime.”
Model United Nations is also offered as a class at BC. The courses are offered fall, winter and spring quarter. It is suggested that students begin the sequence of courses during fall quarter, which is when the students go to the local MUN conference: Northwest Model United Nations. “The credits are transferable, the knowledge and skills you obtain through the class are immeasurable,” Gebriel said. The program’s faculty adviser and instructor of the class is Tim Jones, who can be contacted at email@example.com.
“If anyone wants to know more information, feel free to come by the MUN desk in Student Programs, C212, which is located between the ISA and APISA desks,” said Gilley.