Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Model U.N. students prepare to represent Portugal

Fifteen Randolph students are prepared to represent Portugal in the National Model United Nations Conference next week. They will give speeches, advocate for Portugal’s interests, and make decisions with students from around the world in five days of sessions that test students’ skills in diplomacy and their knowledge of global issues.

Randolph is one of about 400 colleges with a Model United Nations team. Throughout this semester, the Randolph delegates have explored how

Meet the Delegates

Randolph’s Model U.N. delegates are introducing themselves and documenting their participation in the conference on the Model U.N. blog. Check it out!
Portugal would position itself on issues such as renewable energy, empowering women, and food security. Preparing for Model U.N. makes it a unique classroom experience.

“It doesn’t even feel like a class,” said Jacob Lusczek ’14, one of the head delegates from Randolph. “It feels like you’re getting together with a group of friends to talk about issues.”

Students participate in Model U.N. for a variety of reasons. Lusczeck, for example, applied for the program after he enjoyed, and performed well in, a mock summit in his world politics class.
Sara Terlizzi ’15 got involved because of her growing interest in international law. “This is an opportunity to learn about the law firsthand and see how it is implemented,” she said.

Students have been assigned to various committees where they research specific topics that those committees will address during the national conference in New York. Terlizzi, who will represent Portugal on the Model U.N. Security Council, said this immersion has really put her in the mindset of the country. When she hears about world events in the news she automatically begins processing how people in Portugal would view the event.

On Tuesday, the student ambassadors tested their preparation with Randolph professors and staff members who played the role of foreign ambassadors and asked them to explain and defend their positions on the issues. On Saturday, they fly to New York to face similar questions from other students who also have spent the entire semester preparing. On Sunday they will attend a reception at the home of Kathy Brown ‘76.

“It’s time consuming, but the time that you put into it is very rewarding,” said Lusczek.

“It’s an experience that you won’t get with anything else,” said Terlizzi.

Student travel and participation in the Model UN program is made possible through a generous gift from Marilyn Hicks Fitzgerald ’68 and Michael P. Fitzgerald and through support of the Gravely-Hampson Global Studies Fund.