Normandale Students Participate in Model United Nations Conference

By Steven Geller - Director of Media and Public Relations

For a third year in a row, Normandale Community College political science instructor Elizabeth Klages arranged for Normandale students to participate in the 40th annual Arrowhead Model United Nations Conference (AMUNC) at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

This event was a gathering of regional colleges and universities from Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin to take part in a simulation of a United Nations General Assembly (they also simulated the Security Council, which is not part of the General Assembly, but a separate structure within the UN). The Human Rights Council, another organ of the UN, was also simulated.

Normandale, which was the only two-year college to participate in this event, was joined by Carthage College, Carleton College, Lake Superior State University, Minnesota State University-Mankato, Minnesota State University-Moorhead, North Dakota State University, St. Cloud State University, St. Olaf College, South Dakota State University, Southwest Minnesota State University, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, University of Wisconsin-Superior, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Each institution was assigned a group of countries that it had to role play and a committee that each individual served on as part of the simulation of the United Nationals General Assembly and Security Council. The groups had to research the backgrounds, views and traditions of the member-states they were assigned, and adhere to those identities while presenting ideas and proposals for committees and constructing resolutions that included politics and security, economics and finance, environmental concerns, social and cultural and humanitarian issues. 

They were judged by the research, preparation and presentation they did on the countries they were assigned, and how well they demonstrated that knowledge in the General Assembly committees and on the Security Council. The four countries assigned to Normandale students were Botswana, Germany, Norway and Uruguay. Two Normandale students received honors during the event, as Kristen Uhler was named Best Delegate Nominee on the Environmental Committee Best Delegate, and Anna Rios received an honorable mention for Environmental Committee Best Delegate.    

The participation in this conference was part of a Model United Nations class taught by Klages. Lacey Mamek, from the Normandale Library, constructed the entire course guide, continued to update resources throughout the semester during preparation for this event, and held library research sessions for the students.

The Normandale Community College Foundation also played a key role in securing a grant to make sure the students were able to participate in this event.