On Thursday and Friday, March 8 and 9,
Hope College will sponsor its 29th annual Model United
Nations conference. More than 900 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 an
Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the students will be
taking part in simulated exercises focusing on significant
Among the issues to be discussed are AIDS,
sustainable development, globalization, nuclear
proliferation, UN organization reform, status of women,
North Korea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Taiwan, Sri Lanka
and sanctions against Iraq, as well as a historical crisis,
the Falkland Islands in 1982. The International Court of
Justice simulation will be seeking an advisory opinion for
the establishment of an International Criminal Court.
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 College 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 have chosen to represent.
During the conference, they will share knowledge with their
peer delegates, striving to attain solutions to
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 guest speaker is Rep. Pete
Hoekstra, a 1975 Hope College graduate and member of the
U.S. House of Representatives.
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 chairpersons and perform other
administrative tasks throughout the formation and execution
of the event.
The Secretary General for this year's conference
is junior Chris Winkler, a social studies composite major
from Boyne City. Serving as Deputy Secretary Generals are
senior Marcus Brisbo, a political science major from
Lansing, and junior Liz Schofield, a political science and
social work major from Niles.
Rachel Beaudoin, a senior from Kalmazoo, and Dave
VanOpstall, a senior from Hudsonville, are the directors of
the General Assemblies. Liz van Houwelingen, a sophomore
from Traverse City, and Emily Ward, a sophomore from Ionia,
are the Security Council directors, while Jim Plasman, a
sophomore from Downers Grove, Ill., is the director of
ECOSOC. The International Court of Justice is directed by
Chris Vande Bunte, a senior from Freehold, N.J.
Students involved in the General Assemblies are
the following: Tomoyo Abe, an exchange student from
Fujisawa, Japan; Curt Bannigan, a junior from Bay City; Emma
Jones, an exchange student from Denbighshire, Wales, United
Kingdom; Geoff McNeil, a junior from Lansing; Courtney Munz,
a junior from Mount Prospect, Ill.; Becky Rasdall, a
sophomore from Hutchinson, Kan.; Abbey Stauffer, a freshman
from Saline; Sakura Tominaga, an exchange student from
Yokohama City, Japan; Erica Viegelahn, a freshman from
Rogers City; Bethany White, a sophomore from Evansville,
Ind.; and Julie Wilcox, a freshman from Saline.
Participating in the Security Council sessions
are: Matt Bondy, a sophomore from Petoskey; Dmitri Brown, a
freshman from Zeeland; Carla Carrozziere, a sophomore from
Rochester, N.Y.; Lindee Claerbout, a sophomore from
Oostburg, Wis.; Josh Egedy, a sophomore from Midland Park,
N.J.; Vic Gonzalez, a sophomore from Bronx, N.Y.; Branden
Johnson, a junior from Galesburg; John Kran, a sophomore
from Freesoil; and Jamie Pierce, a sophomore from South
Also in the Security Council: Laura Baker, a
junior from Rochester; Lori Brown, a junior from Cass City;
Mona El-Shamaa, a freshman from Greenville; Anthony Grech, a
junior from Livonia; Eric Johnson, a sophomore from Battle
Creek; Dirk Nykamp, a junior from Grand Haven; Greg Piccolo,
a junior from Bethesda, Md.; Steve Robison, a senior from
Saline; and Nora Staal, a sophomore from Baldwin, Wis.
ECOSOC participants are the following: Sara
Barber, a freshman from Grand Rapids; Robin Brintnall, a
junior from Hudsonville; Mark Karadsheh, a freshman from
Holland; Steve Miles, a junior from Mt. Pleasant; Lizzy
Slentz, a sophomore from Greenville; and Jamie Werth, a
junior from Imlay City.
Sam Nichols, a freshman from Lewis, Iowa, will be
participating in the International Court of Justice.
Dr. Joel Toppen, visiting assistant professor of
political science, is serving as faculty advisor for the