Gustavus Adolphus College’s Model United Nations club recently competed in the Arrowhead Model United Nations Conference in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and came away with two major delegate awards.
The Gustavus group, which consisted of 20 students from the campus Model United Nations club and the political science course Model UN/International Diplomacy, along with political science professor Mimi Gerstbauer, took part in the annual conference April 13-16.
Junior political science major and co-president of the Gustavus Model UN club Priscilla Otero won the Best Delegate Award on the Security Council while playing the role of China. Sophomore political science major Jason Alper was recognized as the Best Delegate Honorable Mention for the Economic and Finance committee, where he also represented China. In addition, Gustavus students Jessica Le and Marissa Bogdansky were named exceptional participants on the Social, Cultural, and Humanitarian committee.
“I’m very proud of our Gustavus students and their high level of preparation and participation in this year’s conference,” Gerstbauer said. “Success is measured in part by receiving awards, but for a lot of students success can also be standing up in front of a large group of people to debate international issues. It takes courage and preparation.”
As members of the Model United Nations, students do research on their assigned country and on current issues relevant to their committee in order to submit a resolution to be debated at the conference. They also prepare by researching their country’s stance on resolutions submitted by other student delegates. This year, Gustavus students represented the delegations of China, Denmark, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, and Tunisia.
The Arrowhead Model United Nations Conference (AMUNC), now in its fourth decade, occurs each spring and brings together students from colleges and universities across the Upper Midwest. At the conference students from 14 colleges and universities represented UN member states on the Security Council and four other committees: Political and Security; Economic and Finance; Social, Cultural and Humanitarian; and Environmental.
Funding for the Gustavus contingent came through support from the Office of the Provost, the Diversity Leadership Council, Student Senate, the Departments of Political Science, Scandinavian Studies, and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, and the Kendall Center for Engaged Learning.
“Model UN is an excellent example of high-impact, active learning,” Gerstbauer said. “Students learn and practice many skills in what feels like a ‘real world’ environment. Above all is the skill of diplomacy, which our world definitely needs. Thankfully, debate in the UN is not like social media.”
The Gustavus Adolphus College Model United Nations Club, which is open to all students of any major, has 60 registered members and regularly participates in a fall conference in Chicago, and occasionally other conferences nationwide.
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin