CSU, Chico News

Model United Nations Students Excel at Regional Conference

Date: 12-02-2009

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
John Crosby
Political Science

Students participating in the Model United Nations (MUN) course at California State University, Chico brought home top awards, once again, from the American West Model United Nations Conference held Nov. 21-24 in Las Vegas. The theme of this year’s conference was “Balancing Trade, Security and Safety in a More Complex World.”

The Model UN team brought home the Distinguished Delegation award and 11 out of 25 possible individual awards. Chico students represented only 16 percent of all students attending yet took nearly 40 percent of all awards presented.

Each of the 32 students was assigned a country to represent at the conference within five specific committees: World Health Organization (WHO), World Trade Organization (WTO), Human Rights Council (HRC), G20 and the Security Council. Students were given three different topics to research for that country in that committee. The topics ranged from “Defending Against Outbreaks of Emerging and Epidemic-Prone Diseases” to “The Role of International Financial Institutions in Monetary and Fiscal Policy.”

The Distinguished Delegation award went to CSU, Chico students representing Russia: Monica Willian, Jillian Zarifis, Brittany Whitman-Hall and Nate Steffen.

In addition to the delegation award, the following students received Outstanding Position Paper awards for their pre-conference research: Caitlin Albritton representing Bangladesh in the WTO, Jennifer Leslie representing Vietnam in the WHO, and Monica Willian representing Russia in the Security Council.

Seven students also received individual awards for their performance and representation of policy at the conference: Amanda Abrahams received the Outstanding Delegate Award for her representation of Nigeria in the WHO; Frank Mayfield received a Distinguished Delegate Award for his representation of Ghana; Alex Seymour received the Outstanding Delegate Award for his representation of Vietnam in the WTO; Lalana Gunaratne and Justine Lentz received Distinguished Delegate Awards for their representation of Bangladesh and Nigeria, respectively, in the HRC; Jillian Zarifis received a Distinguished Delegate Award for her representation of Russia in the G-20; and Monica Willian received the Distinguished Delegate Award for her representation of Russia.

The CSU, Chico Model United Nations Team is taught and run entirely by student officers elected from the previous year’s class. They serve as experienced tutors to the incoming class. This year’s officers are Jenny Cox as head delegate, Amanda Sayre as secretary general, and Ashley Connell, Boshion Crandall, and Katelyn Mahoney. In addition to the officer core three returning students contributed greatly to this year’s preparation: Kelley Fairchild, Serdar Yesildag and Brenna Young.

Students excelling at this conference will be chosen to represent CSU, Chico at the National Conference in New York in the spring. At the national conference, CSU, Chico will pair with Japan’s National Team in a joint delegation representing the countries of Algeria and Denmark.

The MUN is organized like the United Nations, with committees, programs, a general assembly and a security council. Professor John Crosby teaches the political science course that prepares students to compete and is an advisor to the team. For more information about the Model UN Program, contact Crosby at jcrosby5@csuchico.edu.

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