CSU Hosts 330 High School Student Delegates for Model U.N.

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Columbus State’s Political Science Department is hosting about 330 area high school student participants for a Model United Nations competition tonight and tomorrow (Nov. 24-25) in the Cunningham Center, 3100 Gentian Blvd.

A 7-8:30 p.m. opening ceremony tonight will be followed by Model U.N. proceedings Tuesday from 8:30-5 p.m. and a closing awards ceremony from 7-9 p.m.

The public is invited to observe the activities which “model every organ of the U. N. and include a pair of ‘International Court of Justice’ exercises and a ‘Heads of State Summit,’” said Model U.N. director John Van Doorn, associate professor and political science department chair for Columbus State.

“We are addressing some of the most ‘ripped from the headlines’ issues and global challenges,” Van Doorn said. “We’re covering not only economics, but peacekeeping, including the Russia-Georgia conflict and Darfur, plus the environment and global natural disasters, such as in Haiti and the Congo.”

The event is designed to improve participating students’ public speaking and writing skills, while they learn about official United Nations procedures. The students — representing Columbus, Hardaway, Brookstone, Spencer, Kendrick, Northside, Shaw and Phenix City Central high schools — have prepared by researching issues related to their assigned nations. As delegates, they debate, deliberate, consult and develop solutions to world problems.

Van Doorn’s political science students, with other CSU students, will participate in leadership roles such as heads of council, secretariat and secretary-general.

The opening ceremony involves as a pair of speakers to help prepare the delegates for Tuesday’s proceedings. Columbus State economics professor Andres Jauregui will discuss the international economy and its current problems, and Aflac strategy consultant Walter Agumbi, a native of Kenya, will share insight from his experiences as a missionary in eastern Africa and working with orphaned children of AIDS victims.

The closing awards ceremony will include a talk by Joel Cassman, a visiting lecturer of economics and international business at Columbus State, who will share insight as a former U.S. State Department official in charge of recruiting diplomats into foreign service.

For more information, call John Van Doorn, at 706-562-1694.