Juniata Students to Organize Model UN Conference for Area Schools

(Posted November 8, 2010)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- High school students from central Pennsylvania will get a chance to hear the testimony of a Muslim woman as part of a session on "The Role of Women in Islamic States" as part of a Model United Nations conference for area high school students sponsored by Juniata College, Monday, Nov. 15 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in various campus locations,

Razma Qadir, an international student from Afghanistan, will answer questions from the Model UN delegates.

"Students in Model UN rarely get a chance to hear testimony during one of the committee sessions. This year, one of our international students has agreed to give testimony in front of the students on the Organization of the Islamic Conference."

"Students in Model UN rarely get a chance to hear testimony during one of the committee sessions," says Richard Mahoney, professor of peace studies and director of Juniata's Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies. "This year, one of our international students has agreed to give testimony in front of the students on the Organization of the Islamic Conference."

Mahoney is overseeing all Model UN club activities.

More than 220 students and teachers on 16 teams from Hollidaysburg Area High School, Huntingdon Area High School, Bellefonte Area High School, Indian Valley High School, East Juniata Senior High School (in McAlisterville, Pa.), Lewistown Area High School, York Country Day School, Juniata High School (in Mifflintown, Pa.), Northern York High School, Linden Hall High School, Lampeter-Strasburg High School, Annville-Cleona High School (in Annville, Pa.), Octarora High School (in Atglen, Pa.), Penn Manor High School (in Millersville, Pa.), Hershey High School and State College Area High School will attend the one-day event.
Mahoney says a Model U.N. conference gives high school students and their teachers an opportunity to experience how the United Nations works.

Students in high school Model United Nations clubs are given background briefing materials 30 days before the conference. Each club is assigned a country or countries to represent and given assignments to participate in other United Nations organizations such as the Security Council or UNICEF.

"It's an excellent recruiting tool for Juniata and visiting students get a chance to sample a bit of college life," Mahoney explains. "Our students actually get as much out of the experience, because they are organizing and running a very large conference."

The Model U.N. conference will include a session of the National Security Council addressing "The Situation between South Korea and DPRK." The council also will meet on "Stability in Iraq."

Other sessions and topics include: The General Assembly 1 will meet on "Illicit Trade of Small Arms and Light Weapons" and "Preventing the Acquisition by Terrorists of Radioactive Materials and Sources" and the General Assembly 3 focuses on "Indigenous Rights" and "Persons with Disabilities." The United Nations Security Council tackles "Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks" and "Stability in Somalia." The U.N. Environment Program's topic is "Electronic Waste Management" and "Risk Assessment and Prevention of Oil Spills," and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe will meet on "Energy Security" and "South Ossetia."

The conference is sponsored and staged by the Juniata College Model United Nations Club. About 35 Juniata students will participate in the events and oversee the various committees and sessions. The United Nations Secretary General will be Nicole Houck, a senior from Hollidaysburg, Pa.

The regional Model U.N. conference is in its 12th consecutive year at Juniata. The Juniata students serving as committee chairs are: General Assembly 1: Zach Gordon, a junior from Wilmington, Del., Derrick Magnotta, a freshman from Tafton, Pa., and Rachel Krantz, a freshman from Bellefonte, Pa.; National Security Council: Laura Gregory, a junior from Morrisonville, N.Y., and Rachel Adams, a sophomore from McLean, Va.; United Nations Security Council: Colleen Chiochetti, a sophomore from Annapolis, Md., and Alexis Powell, a sophomore from Crofton, Md.; United Nations Environmental Program: Babafemi Adegbite, a junior from Lynn, Mass., Philippa Whybrow, an international student from England, and Jacob Messer, a freshman from Kennebunkport, Maine. General Assembly 3: David Grim, a junior from Boalsburg, Pa., Rachel Adams, and Robert Upton, an international student from England; and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe: Meg Hourigan, a sophomore from Memphis, N.Y., Erin Kreischer, a sophomore from Oberlin, Pa., and Kathryn Finkenbinder, a sophomore from Huntingdon, Pa.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.