Marian University’s Model United Nations (MUN) delegates Liz Hilt ’17, Robert Hodge ’15, Thomas McClelland ’15, Travis Nieman ’15, and Jonnae Tinson ’16 traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina in April for their conference, “Preserving Fundamental Human Rights: Our Responsibility to Protect.”
Marian University’s student delegation, along with 300 students from nearly 40 different universities, explored how international communities can determine appropriate times to intervene in human rights violations without violating the sovereignty of an accused member state.
MUN allows students to role-play delegates to the United Nations and simulates United Nations committees to discuss worldly issues for undergraduate college students interested in pursuing issues of international concern.
With the guidance of Holly Gastineau-Grimes, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science, students were assigned to participate as Egypt and spent the better part of the fall semester researching and rehearsing for the conference in the spring.
While acting as representatives of Egypt, students were assigned to different committees and topics in order to collaborate on the international topics at hand.
Hodge said, “Preparation was somewhat intense. There was a lot of research on the topics that we were tackling and we had to discover what nations would be at the conference so we’d know who we could work with while participating as Egypt and staying in character.”
Second-year participant, Hilt, said, “The most challenging part of the conference is remaining true to your country's character. You are forced to look at an issue from a different lens than what you are used to, which for me, is American, a woman, and Catholic. It becomes difficult when you are presented with an idea that you personally think would be beneficial, but while representing your country, you cannot agree to something that your country would not agree to.”
Despite the challenges, Marian University students came prepared and were very successful throughout the conference serving on the General Assembly Plenary, the International Criminal Policy Organization, African Development Bank, and the League of Arab States collaborating with other participating students to pass resolutions and delegate accordingly.
Marian University’s delegates received the “Most Improved” delegation award for the League of Arab States, and for the second year in a row, earned a top score for their position paper.
To support or learn more about MUN at Marian University, please contact Holly A. Gastineau-Grimes. MUN serves to advance leadership initiatives in the School of Liberal Arts.