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By HPU’s UN Club. May 6, 2013 - 2:32 pm
Twelve HPU students attended an annual National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference that took place March 17-21.
The NMUN conference is the highlight of the activities of the UN Club of HPU each year.
After months of research, determined preparation, position paper writing, fundraising, and Saturday morning classes, a group of students was ready to represent the political views of their assigned country, Yemen.
The HPU delegation was composed of students with different nationalities and majors, which well defines the nature of the diverse HPU. With over 5,000 students from all across the world, the NMUN is a highly competitive conference in which students take part on debate and resolution writing.
They also learn about the procedures of the real United Nations (UN), get familiar with current global issues and learn about international relations in practice.
“We all learned something new about ourselves, developed our communications skills, problem solving tactics, and gained a new perspective on our future goals and life choices,” said Samantha Stelk, an international studies student from California.
“One of the biggest obstacles was portraying the views and opinions from Yemen’s standpoint, not our own values and beliefs.”
“I grew as a person in the sense that I faced some of my fears of public speaking,” said Christer Nyrud, a Norwegian student majoring in business.
“I was able to take charge in the discussion and the mediation that took place at the conference. This was an experience that I really wouldn’t want to be without.”
In the conference, the delegates were split into different committees that exist in the real UN, as well. All committees had three diverse global topics, from which one was chosen as the main agenda for discussion. The students were highly challenged to be ready to respond to other countries’ views and arguments, but the HPU delegation was not hesitant.
“The student delegation did an amazing job and I was impressed particularly by their ability to think on their feet during the sessions,” said Dr. Raymond “Dana” Rasch, the co-advisor of the club who had joined the group as a faculty chaperone for the trip.
After intense days in the conference the hard work of the students got rewarded, and the HPU delegation was recognized with an Honorable Mention Award, placing the delegation to the top 20 percent of all the participants.
It was amazing to see this group to grow together. All the hard work paid off and it is always rewarding to see people develop their personal skills through this kind of experience.
The NMUN conference is a time consuming but growing experience, and it helps the students to better understand the world in the global context.
“Being a part of the UN Club has helped me to learn about other countries and customs in order to become a more well informed global citizen,” said Shawn Saito, a TIM student from Hawai‘i.
Photos courtesy of: Brandon Brinson and Miina Houtari