CSU, Chico News

Model United Nations Students Excel at Regional Conference

Date: 12-04-2008

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
John Crosby
Political Science

Once again, students participating in the Model United Nations (MUN) course at California State University, Chico made an excellent showing at the American West Model United Nations Conference, Nov. 22-25, in Las Vegas. They brought home the Outstanding Delegation award (the top award given at the conference) and 11 out of 36 possible awards.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Rising Voices: Protecting, Enhancing and Empowering the World’s Most Vulnerable.” Each of the 37 students who are members of the CSU, Chico team were assigned a country to represent at the conference within a specific committee (emulating the United Nations) and had three different topics to research for that country. The topics ranged from ending the Cuban embargo to global denuclearization.

The Outstanding Delegation award went to CSU, Chico students representing Ecuador: Rebecca Shellgren, Chelsea Willett and Noah Ferns.

In addition to the top delegation award, the following students received position paper awards: Kelley Fairchild representing Palestine, Amanda Sayre representing India, Morgan Watson as Bahrain, Emily Murphy representing Bolivia, and Ashley Connell representing China in the Security Council.

Five students also received individual awards for their performance and representation of policy at the conference: Kelley Fairchild received a Distinguished Delegate award for his representation of Palestine; Alfredo Camacho received a Distinguished Delegate Award for his representation of Algeria; Noah Ferns received an Outstanding Delegate Award for his representation of Ecuador; Chelsea Willett received an Outstanding Delegate Award for her representation of Ecuador; and Josh Keller received the Outstanding Delegate Award for his representation of India.

The MUN team is taught and run entirely by student officers elected from the previous year’s class. This year’s officers are Chelsea Schick as head delegate, Chad Brackett as secretary general, and Anna Birch, Jenny Cox and Lynda Kooi. “The student officers are the heart of the program and the reason for the amazing success of this year’s team,” said John Crosby, who replaced Rick Ostrom as the team’s advisor. In addition to the officers, three returning students contributed greatly to this year’s preparation: Andy Adams, Michael Ehrgott and Justin Palmerlee.

“The MUN is an amazing program where students must excel at public speaking, in-depth research, negotiation, leadership and produce a concisely written position paper,” said Crosby. “In addition during the three-day conference student delegates must prepare and cooperate with delegates from other schools representing different countries to produce a series of realistic UN resolutions. Students in the program learn to combine these invaluable skills that are taught nowhere else.”

The regional conference, sponsored by the Pan-American Model United Nations, prepares students to participate in the National Model United Nations held each spring in New York. The national MUN is the world’s largest university-level simulation of the United Nations. It annually educates more than 3,400 students (40 percent from outside the United States) about the United Nations and contemporary international issues.

The MUN is organized like the United Nations, with committees, programs, a general assembly and a security council. Professor Crosby teaches the political science course that prepares students to compete and is an advisor to the team.

Model UN program is funded by the Instructionally Related Activities Program, as well as by contributions from the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences and student fund-raising activities.

For more information contact Crosby by e-mail at jcrosby5@csuchico.edu or call 530-898-3069.