February 5, 2009
Vol. 28 No. 9

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    Students set to debate in Model UN simulations

    By Julia Morse
    News Office

    When nearly 2,500 high school students from around the world convene the 21st annual Model United Nations of the University of Chicago, debates over solutions to issues such as the global food crisis and the international regulation of space will unfold, while multiple crises challenge members of its Security Councils.

    One of the largest and most prestigious high school Model UN conferences in the country, the University’s four-day event, which began today, showcases thousands of high school students portraying United Nations representatives.

    Ji Won Kim, third-year in the College and Chief Communications Officer for this year’s conference, expects this year’s event to be particularly relevant because of the important current events happening around the world.

    “We just elected our first African American president, there are wars and conflicts happening across the globe, and there are important policies and issues to address,” she said. “I’m sure the topics and events of this Model UN conference will be especially memorable.”

    Stephanie Siu, Secretary-General of the Model UN, said, “This year more than ever, MUNUC is committed to bringing the most enriching educational experience possible to all of our participants. We will be running a continuous-crisis simulation of the U.S. National Security Council this year, for the first time in MUNUC history.”

    Siu also noted that Ann Marie Lipinski, former Chicago Tribune editor and current Vice President for Civic Engagement, will be one of the guest speakers at the conference.

    The conference will be held at the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago from Thursday, Feb. 5 through Sunday, Feb. 8. College students organize the annual event, and this year they will welcome students from more than 125 high schools from across the globe.

    “Our greatest hope for this conference is that it can be a valuable and memorable experience for all who participate, and that we can help students focus and achieve their goals,” said Kim.

    Since its establishment in 1988, the Model United Nations of the University of Chicago has been committed to the mission of educating high school students in the arts of debate, negotiation and public speaking. The members include students and alumni, who all undergo rigorous, advance training. Additional information is available at http://munuc.org.