Political Science Students Win Top Honors at Western Model UN Conference
The Model UN class at California State University, Dominguez Hills received top honors at WestMUN 2009 (Western Collegiate Model United Nations) conference, April 2-4, at Santa Barbara City College.
Political science students Nicole Evans, Andrew Reynoso and Diana Vasquez took three of the five Best Delegate awards. Another student, Chikezie Nwafor Prince, was named a runner up for his role on the UN Security Council, and nine students were selected for consideration for WestMUN committee positions next year.
“Our students were praised for their excellent preparation and representation,” said Dr. Hamoud Salhi, assistant professor of political science. “CSUDH was the only school to win three of the five awards presented to those students with the most outstanding performance at the conference. I applaud their efforts.”
A contingent of 34 CSUDH students spent the last days of their spring break researching, debating, drafting and passing resolutions as UN “delegates” along with peers of other Model UN programs in Southern California. Topics covered at the conference were similar to those currently being debated before the United Nations, including the threat to international peace and security, North Korea, Darfur, indigenous citizens’ rights, illegal wildlife trafficking, infant diarrhea, and water scarcity.
The CSUDH delegates represented the United States, Algeria, France, Croatia, Pakistan and Iran on such committees as the United Nations Security Council, the UN General Assembly, the International Court of Justice, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Evans, Reynosa and Vasquez received top honors for their roles in the WHO, FAO and the International Court of Justice, respectively.
Since the mid 1990s, the CSU Dominguez Hills political science department has offered a Model UN class during the spring semester. Similar to other Model UN programs throughout the country, the class is designed to train students in the art of diplomacy, public speaking, debate, negotiation and consensus building. Much like at the conference, students throughout the semester take on the role of delegates for certain countries and conduct research and draft responses on issues before the United Nations.
- Amy Bentley-Smith