Students from St. Wendelin Catholic School are boarding a bus today to attend the Mid-Atlantic Model United Nations in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Sponsored by the Mid-American Global Education Council, Model UN, as it is commonly referred to, is a four-day conference/competition where delegates throughout the midwest congregate.
SWCS’ 20 students will join more than 500 delegates at the event. Each delegate is part of a multi-delegate country or a team.
This year, SWCS is representing Guatemala, Nigeria and Ethiopia. Each student on a team is assigned one of the following committees: political, special political, social humanitarian and cultural, legal, economics, science and technology, human rights or environmental. Nigeria also has a security council position which will be represented.
Each committee is given four topics of which SWCS students have spent the past six months researching their committee topics, their country assignment and formulating written positions on their country’s perspective on each topic. In addition, students have learned to write resolutions in UN format and protocol and submitted them for debate at the conference.
The Radisson Plaza Hotel at Kalamazoo Center will be transformed for the week into a makeshift UN headquarters. This evening, delegates will attend caucuses for their like-minded allies and begin to formulate strategies.
On Wednesday, Thursday and part of Friday, the delegates will attend committee sessions in which each of the four topics will be discussed and resolutions will be brought to the floor for consideration in either the General Assembly or the ECOSOC (Economic and Social) Plenary Council.
On Friday afternoon and Saturday, delegates will converge in the general assembly or the ECOSOC Plenary Council for discussion and potential passage of their committee work.
In the midst of this, delegates will be called into special meetings in which they have to discern their country’s reaction to a real-time, real-world crisis.
According to a press release, it is a grueling week where students are in session every day from roughly 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. with breaks only for meals. Many evenings, students will attend a host of social events as well.
The week culminates with an award ceremony on Saturday afternoon.
Students who participate receive a half a credit (0.5) that goes toward their academic credits to graduate because of the outstanding preparation required of each delegate.
This is the third year SWCS has participated in Model UN events.
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