Normandale students participate in Model United Nations Conference

By Steven Geller - Director of Media and Public Relatoins

For the fourth year in a row,  Normandale Community College political science instructor Elizabeth Klages arranged for Normandale students to participate in the annual Arrowhead Model United Nations Conference (AMUNC) hosted by Lake Superior State in Marie, Mich. 

This event was a gathering of regional colleges and universities from Michigan, Minnesota, 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 Community College, which was the only two-year college to participate, in this event, was joined by Lake Superior State University (host); Minnesota State University, Mankato; Minnesota State University, Moorhead; University of Wisconsin-Madison-Superior, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, University of Wisconsin-River Falls; Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Olaf College, St. Cloud State University, Winona State University; and South Dakota State University.

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 six countries that Normandale students were assigned were Djibouti, Egypt, Ireland, Mexico, SingaporeSomalia and South Africa.

Normandale student Kristen Uhler received the Best Delegate Award for the General Assembly Economic and Finance Committee, and Naima Omar was given special recognition at the awards ceremony for her passionate and informative speech on her resolution on "Sexual Violence As A Weapon of War" in the General Assembly Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee. The participation in this conference was part of a Model United Nations class taught by Klages and students from the Politics and Law Club

This was the biggest group ever to attend the conference for Normandale. Students representing the college were: Timothy Aderhold, Alexander Agar, Abdirahman Ahmed, Ahmed Ahmed, Abdirizack Ali, Kevin Chang, Paul Davis, Melvin Duran, Brady Erickson, Nasra Hassan, Shubhra Kant, Andrew Lanhart, Kodzo Mlagani, Abdi Mohamed, Sam Mohamed, Naima Omar, Ahmed Osman, Elisha Patmon, Amal Sheikl-Mursal, Nasro Shil, Kaitlyn Skog, Kristen Uhler.

Library faculty member Lacey Mamak constructed the entire course guide and instructed the students on UN document research skills and strategies in library sessions throughout the semester. 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.