Community College (CGCC) just pulled off a “David vs. Goliath” like performance
at the 62 session of the Model United Nations Far West by walking away with 40
percent of the awards. It competed against significantly larger schools,
including Arizona State University, University of California - San Diego, Cal
State Long Beach, University of Nevada and Whittier College.
“With more than 600 participants from significantly larger colleges and universities,
our twelve students represented CGCC with distinction at the 62 session of the
Model United Nations Far West,” said Noel Morelos, CGCC political science
professor. “Our 'david-esque' college won pre-conference awards, was named 1 of
5 distinguished colleges and was recognized as the only college from the entire
conference that has won at least one distinguished delegate award each of the
last three years.”
CGCC students Mallory Kurtz of Chandler and Rolando Fajardo of Gilbert both
received the distinguished delegate award. Crowned rapporteurs (a person
responsible for compiling reports and
presenting them, as to a governing body) out of more than 600 students, they received
this honor by being nominated for their pre-conference research and issues
presentation by the conference’s secretariat.
"This is one of the best experiences in my early
college career and I hope to have many more like them,” said Kurtz. “It’s a
Preparation for the conference began months ago, as
students worked to turn in policy statements. These statements represented
pages upon pages of information and countless hours of research, which were
condensed into a single-page statement. This statement represented the position
of the country on a specific issue they were assigned and it included their
recommendations for action as well as their final resolution.
At the conference the students were assigned to a
country and sat on committees, which represented different topics and issues.
The subjects they discussed were current United Nations issues. CGCC students
researched their assigned country’s stance on specific global issues and then
wrote a paper on it. Students presented their nation’s position on the topic
and worked together to produce working resolutions and eventually formal
Thirty-five schools participated in this year’s
session. The Model United Nations simulates or models sessions of the United Nations. It uses real-world issues,
proposals and global crises to advance the participant’s understanding of
international relations, diplomacy and maintenance. The program helps students
become more familiar with the delicate relational balance between nations and
allows them to gain insight into global policies.
Stanford University hosted the first session of the Model United Nations of the
Far West in 1951. More than 300 students, representing three western states,
debated issues and exchanged ideas. From that point on, the Model United
Nations of the Far West has continued to grow.
Today, more than 400 Model United Nations conferences take place in more than
50 countries and more than one million people have participated since its
creation. Conference size ranges from as few as 30 students up to 3,000 student
Professor Morelos described the Model United Nations program as one of the more
unique educational experiences CGCC offers. It helps build life-long skills,
which can be utilized throughout a student’s career. Participants gain
negotiation, public speaking, problem solving, and conflict resolution skills.
In addition, they learn writing skills, how to build consensus and the art of
compromise and cooperation.
One thing is for sure, what CGCC lacked in size, it
certainly made up for in academic as well as political prowess among some of
the largest educational entities in America.