Model U.N. class travels to Toronto

Alex Eisner

This past weekend students from NMU took part in the 25th annual North American Model United Nations Conference in Toronto.
Model U.N. is a simulation of the real United Nations in which schools sign up and represent one or more nations on different committees such as U.N. Human Rights Council and Economic and Social Council.
“Students from different universities come together and act as representatives of that country,” said William Ball, a professor of political science at NMU and the teacher of the Model U.N. class. “This requires background [research] and beliefs of the issues of those countries.”
This year, 26 NMU students attended the conference through the Model U.N. course, PS 299, and two students brought back awards.
Amanda Portice, a senior international studies major, represented the United Kingdom on the World Heritage Convention and won honorable mention.
Cameron Witbeck, a student assistant instructor of the class and senior English writing major, represented John Adams on a special historical committee, the Continental Congress, and won outstanding delegate.

Laura Schmidt, senior political science and international studies major and a student assistant instructor of NMU’s PS 299 Model U.N. class, represented the United Kingdom on the U.N. Security council and said about 20 schools competed at conference.

Each year the Model U.N. Club attends a Chicago conference in the fall, whereas the class attends the Toronto conference in winter, said Ball. Universities from around the world, including Ivy League schools and international universities attend these conferences. NMU has become the second most decorated school in the United States.
“I started the Model U.N. Club 20 years ago, and the club and the class have won the second highest number of awards in the [United States],” said Ball.
Another NMU student that attended the conference in Toronto, Zach Fix, a sophomore pre-law and political science major, represented Button Gwinnett of Georgia on the Continental Congress. In his committee’s simulation, Fix said a lot of unexpected events happened.
“In my committee, we had numerous people that changed sides,” he said. “There were people who were trying to take over and tried to threaten us with the Continental Army and take over the whole congress.”
Fix said he recommends students join both the club and the class, and that it’s a lot of work but once you get to conference it’s rewarding.
“I was yelling at people in my committee over a fake revolution. You really get into it and forget it’s a simulation,” said Fix.
Students interested in joining the club next fall should e-mail [email protected]
Model U.N. is not restricted to Political Science and International Studies majors because there are a wide variety of issues and topics for everyone to enjoy, said Schmidt.

Editor’s note: Cameron Witbeck, news editor of the North Wind, was necessary for the reporting of this article.