On Thursday and Friday, March 9-10, Hope College will sponsor its 28th annual Model United Nations Conference. More than 950 students and faculty from approximately 40 high schools will be participating.
Acting as delegates from the 189 member nations of
the United Nations in two General Assemblies, seven Security
Councils, one International Court of Justice (ICJ), and two
Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Commissions, the
students will be taking part in simulated exercises focusing
on significant international issues.
Among the issues to be discussed are Population
Control; Budget Issues; IMF/World Bank Reform; Chemical and
Biological Weapons; the Former Yugoslavia; Indonesia; Sudan;
India/Pakistan; Colombian Drug Lords; a historical crisis,
Congo in 1960; Promotion of World Trade; and Status of Women
in the World. The International Court of Justice simulation
will be addressing the issue of the United States v.
Model United Nations is designed to give high
school students an opportunity to take on the roles of
professional diplomats with the goal of achieving a
particular country's national objectives while fostering a
desired international consensus for real solutions to
questions facing them. The department of political science
at Hope sponsors the event.
Participating students have been working with
their high school advisors for several weeks in preparation
for the conference, and have been identifying the current
issue positions of countries they are representing. During
the conference, they will share knowledge with their peer
delegates, striving to attain solutions to international
ECOSOC, Security Council and ICJ members begin
their sessions on Thursday evening, continuing all day
Friday. General Assembly members arrive on Friday morning,
debating throughout the day.
In addition to their sessions, ECOSOC, Security
Council and ICJ members also attend a banquet featuring a
guest speaker. This year's speaker is Dr. Annie G.
Dandavati, associate professor of political science at Hope.
Dandavati has published a book and articles on women's
issues, and will be discussing "Third World Women and
The Hope College Model United Nations is organized
by students in a political science course aimed at the
understanding of international politics and the United
Nations' role in international disputes. The Hope students
serve as session chairs and perform other administrative
tasks throughout the formation and execution of the event.
The co-secretary-generals of this year's
conference are junior Paul Bush, a political science major
from St. Louis, Mo., and junior Louis Canfield, a political
science major from Whitehall. The under-secretary general
is sophomore Matt Scogin, a political science major from
Chris Lowe, a senior from Okemos, and Jim Plasman,
a freshman from Downers Grove, Ill., are the directors of
the General Assemblies. Beth Kilgore, a sophomore from
Byron Center, and Jessica Zimbelman, a junior from Stanton,
are the Security Council directors. Tim Hoebeke, a senior
from Grand Rapids, is the director of ECOSOC, while the
International Court of Justice is directed by senior Emily
DuBois of Eaton Rapids.
Students involved in the General Assemblies are
the following: senior Mike Adamski of Hudsonville; freshman
Lisa Hardy of Midland; junior John McDonald of Grand Rapids;
junior Jon Plummer of Traverse City; sophomore Ed Rangler of
Centreville; sophomore Nick Reister of Mason; and junior
Kate Sutton of DeWitt.
Participating in the Security Council sessions
are: sophomore Linden Crockett of Battle Creek; sophomore
Aaron DeVos of Grand Rapids; senior Ross Howell of Mt.
Pleasant; junior Radoslav Iliev of Bulgaria; freshman
Muhammad Karimuddin of Pakistan; sophomore Elizabeth
Schofield of Niles; freshman Elisabeth van Houwelingen of
Traverse City; and freshman Emily Ward of Ionia.
ECOSOC participants are the following: sophomore
Ruth Cortright of Fennville; freshman Jason Dunn of
Cedarville; sophomore Brooke Peterson of Traverse City; and
sophomore Amber Vredevoogd of Wyoming.
International Court of Justice participants are:
sophomore Leiah DeVito of Okemos and junior Leif Sporck of
Dr. Jack Holmes and Dr. Joel Toppen of the
political science faculty served as faculty advisors for the
students. Toppen also served as a faculty advisor for the