On Thursday and Friday, March 7-8, Hope College will sponsor its 30th annual Model United Nations conference. More than 900 students and faculty from approximately 45 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 one Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the students will be taking part in simulated exercises focusing on significant international issues.

Among the issues to be discussed are terrorism, AIDS and global health, human rights, globalization, international narcotics trade, the debt crisis, Afghanistan, Israel and Palestine, Macedonia, Sudan, Colombia and the Caspian Sea oil crisis. The International Court of Justice simulation will be seeking an advisory opinion for an imaginary case involving Taiwan and China.

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 international problems.

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. This year's banquet presents a multi-cultural theme and a menu of ethnic cuisine. Several of Hope's international students will speak on international issues of concern to the United Nations.

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 senior Jessica Zimbelman, a political science and Spanish major from Stanton. Serving as deputy secretary generals are senior Beth Kilgore, a political science major from Byron Center, and senior Brian Sutter, a political science major from Midland.

Trevor Weston, a senior from Port Huron, and Bethany White, a junior from Evansville, Ind., are the directors of the General Assemblies. Rachel Barone, a senior from Grand Rapids, and Branden Johnson, a senior from Galesburg, are the Security Council directors, while senior Jeff Lubbers of Grand Rapids is the director of ECOSOC. The International Court of Justice is directed by Meg Davis, a junior from Brecksville, Ohio.

Students involved in the General Assemblies are the following: sophomore Lindsay Bosak of Livonia, senior Kathleen Bush of Holland, sophomore Ben Carlson of Traverse City, freshman Wylie Douglass of Libertyville, Ill., junior Todd Edema of Grand Rapids, sophomore Dave Fischer of Flint, sophomore Adam LeClaire of Big Rapids, freshman Amy Schlusler of Lapeer, freshman Stephanie Szydlowski of Muskegon, sophomore Marissa Zvonar of Grandville and sophomore Tiffany Zylstra of Batesville, Ark.

Participating in the Security Council sessions are: freshman Olim Alimov of New York, N.Y., junior Linda Buor of Mount Prospect, Ill., freshman Vance Brown of Whitehall, freshman Matt Buursma of Zeeland, sophomore Matt Cooper of Troy, sophomore Dyan Couch of Holland, junior Bill Crane of Wyoming, freshman Tim Fry of Grand Rapids, sophomore Chris Hagen of Brighton, senior Brad Jerdon of Niles, freshman Tim Kolnitys of East Tawas, freshman Mark Nichols of Cascade, senior Erica Perez of Holland, senior Chris Repair of Battle Creek, sophomore Kenny Rogers of Fenton, junior Luke Rumohr of Mason, sophomore Becky Strong of Brighton and sophomore Cara Tarantino of Saint Joseph.

ECOSOC participants are: sophomore J.K. Granberg-Michaelson of Oakland, N.J., sophomore Melissa Harroff of Granville, Ohio, freshman Jon Hecksel of Flint, sophomore Mike Postma of Grand Rapids, junior Clay Trapp of Grand Rapids and sophomore Kia Weeldreyer of Mattawan.

The following students are involved with the International Court of Justice: junior John Collins of Bloomfield Hills and freshman Todd Neckers of Grand Rapids.

Dr. Joel Toppen and Dr. Jack Holmes, members of the college's political science faculty, are serving as advisors for the students.

High Schools Participating in Model United Nations 2002

Addison TrailAdlai E. Stevenson High SchoolArgo Community High SchoolBenton Harbor High SchoolBurr Oak High SchoolByron Center High SchoolCalvin Christian High SchoolCanterbury SchoolClare High SchoolClonlara High SchoolColdwater High SchoolCovert High SchoolCrestview High SchoolDanville High SchoolEast Jackson High SchoolEvanston High SchoolFennville High SchoolGarden City High SchoolGlenbrook North High SchoolGodwin Heights High SchoolGreenhills SchoolMsgr. Hackett Catholic CentralHolland Christian High SchoolHolland High SchoolH.H. Dow High SchoolIthaca High SchoolJenison High SchoolKalamazoo Loy NorrixKelloggsville High SchoolLansing Eastern High SchoolLowell High SchoolMattawan High SchoolMidland High SchoolMorley StanwoodRoeper SchoolSaugatuck High SchoolSeaholm High SchoolSouth Haven High SchoolVicksburg High SchoolWebberville High SchoolWesleyan Academy SponsorWestern Michigan Christian High SchoolZeeland High School