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Clark College holds its first regional Model United Nations Conference

In early February, Clark College commenced its first Vancouver/ Portland Model United Nations Conference with the support of Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, who gave words of encouragement via a personal video.

The conference was kicked off by keynote speaker Ryan Hart, district director of the Third Congressional District, which is represented by Congresswoman Herrera Beutler.

Model United Nations is a program by which students practice the workings of the United Nations through replicating its committees and discussing topics as delegates of member states of the United Nations. More than 60 students from Clark College, University of Washington, Western Washington University, Whitman College and Lewis & Clark College—all members of the regional collegiate association of the Model United Nations of Cascadia—convened to discuss international issues and policy currently facing the United Nations.

During the two-day conference, 25 delegates represented countries such as Australia, France and Morocco in the General Assembly, discussing international humanitarian aid and human rights for migrant workers. Fifteen delegates replicated the Security Council, where they debated the conflict situation in Syria, and 24 delegates came to resolution over topics concerning energy security and post-conflict economic stability in the Economic and Social Council.

Students were also faced with an unexpected simulated crisis that threatened international peace and security, which trained them to think fast and work as a team.

One Clark College student who wished not be identified in this story served as secretary-general, the United Nations chief official. The position of director-general, who is the secretary-general’s chief administrative officer, was held by Clark student Molly Aylor. Students from the other four institutions served in the remaining top staff positions that form the secretariat.

The conference was coordinated by students who are enrolled in the Model United Nations courses offered through the political science program at Clark College under the leadership of Joseph Cavalli, Clark’s Model United Nations director, and Jennifer Hawks, adviser and coach.

Several awards were given to delegates who exhibited keen understanding of their country’s policy and who displayed the best diplomatic skills.

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