(Posted November 3, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- An area high school student will assume the role of the new president-elect and convene a session of the National Security Council to discuss options for the Iraq War, Monday, Nov. 10 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in various campus locations, as part of a Model United Nations conference for local high school students sponsored by Juniata College.

"Usually we have one of the Juniata students play the president in these scenarios, but depending on who wins the election, the question of what to do in Iraq becomes very interesting," says Emil Nagengast, professor of politics and adviser for the Juniata Model U.N. club.

"Depending on who wins the election, the question of what to do in Iraq becomes very interesting."

Emil Nagengast, professor of politics and adviser for the Juniata Model U.N. club.

More than 210 students and teachers on 17 teams from Washington International School (in Washington. D.C.), Hershey High School Huntingdon Area High School, Bellefonte Area High School, Octorara High School (in Atglen, Pa.), Indian Valley High School, East Juniata Senior High School (in McAlisterville, Pa.), Northern Lebanon High School (in Fredericksburg, Pa.), Hollidaysburg Area High School, Lewistown Area High School, the Milton Hershey School, York Country Day School, Juniata Valley Junior-Senior High School, Juniata High School (in Mifflintown, Pa.), Wyoming Seminary (in Kingston, Pa.), Penn Manor High School (in Millersville, Pa.) and State College Area High School will attend the one-day event.

Nagengast says a Model U.N. conference gives high school students and their teachers a chance to participate in simulated international negotiations and diplomatic role-playing. 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.

"Talented students from central Pennsylvania get a chance to come on campus and see a slice of college life," Nagengast explains. "The Juniata students get experience in organizing a large event."
The Model U.N. conference will include a session of the National Security Council addressing "Iraq Withdrawal," with a high school student acting as the president-elect. The council also will meet on "The Situation in Afghanistan."

Other sessions and topics include: The General Assembly 1 will meet on "Terrorism and Countermeasures" and "Nuclear Proliferation" and the General Assembly 2 focuses on "Women's Rights in Conflict" and "Women's Poverty and Education." The Committee on Human Rights will address "Guantanamo and the Use of Torture" and "Iraq and the Use of Torture and Violation of Civil Sovereignty." The United Nations Security Council tackles "Darfur" and "Israel-Palestine." The World Food Program's topic has yet to be determined, and the League of Arab States will meet on "The Situation in Iraq."

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 Jigar Patel, a senior from Jonestown, Pa.

The regional Model U.N. conference is in its 10th consecutive year at Juniata. The Juniata students serving as committee chairs are: General Assembly 1: Gabriel Lopez, a sophomore from Edison, N.J.; Human Rights: Lisa Reiman, a sophomore from Whiting, N.J.; National Security Council: Brenda Tyler, a junior from La Puente, Calif.; United Nations Security Council: Zach Gordon, a sophomore from Wilmington, Del.; World Food Program: Alexandra Taylor, a sophomore from Austin, Texas; General Assembly 2: Eric Hill, a sophomore from Douglassville, Pa.;

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.