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News: 2011-2012: American Model United NationsUN_Country_Signs

Students Participate in 2011 Model UN Conference

In November 2011, the weekend before Thanksgiving, eighteen Calvin College students joined 1,400 other college students from across the nation at the American Model United Nations (AMUN) Conference in Chicago. This conference is designed to simulate the operation of the United Nations, and involves three and one-half days of intensive, back-to-back simulations of various United Nations committees and commissions. Approximately 100 colleges from the United States and abroad represented 130 countries at the conference.

In 2011, Calvin represented Latvia on the General Assembly Plenary and its First, Second, Third and Fourth Committees. Calvin students also represented Latvia on the Commission on Sustainable Development, the Economic Commission on Europe, the Economic and Social Council, and the World Health Assembly. This was the first year that Calvin had represented a European country since the program began in 2002.

The conference provides an excellent opportunity to learn negotiation skills, gain public speaking experience, and practice diplomacy during intense and long periods of debate. Students gain a greater appreciation of the possibilities for and pitfalls of international cooperation.

Professor Amy Patterson of the political science department has directed Calvin's MUN group, and taught the related course, POLS 285 Model United Nations. The course is offered each fall and is open to all majors. Starting fall 2012, Calvin will represent Malaysia at the conference and Professor Mikael Pelz will direct Calvin's MUN group.