2008
"Diplomacy in Action" program will help students experience Model U.N.

"Diplomacy in Action" program will help students experience Model U.N.
November 24, 2008

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094
pbrozynski@ben.edu

Model United Nations is a simulation of the U.N. General Assembly at which college students step into the shoes of ambassadors from member states to debate pressing issues confronting the world. For nearly 60 years, this interactive learning experience has engaged young people in the study and discussion of global issues and encouraged them to develop skills useful throughout their lives, such as research, writing, public speaking, problem solving, consensus building, conflict resolution, and compromise and cooperation. A few years ago, a Benedictine University student attending the Model U.N. conference in New York packed a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter, and never left the team’s hotel. After paying for the flight and other incidentals (the University covers the cost of the hotel and conference), he could not afford to leave his room. That prompted the Political Science Department at Benedictine University to undertake fundraising efforts to offset the out-of-pocket costs to students. These efforts were reasonably successful for the past several years. However, like the global economy, things have changed. “With the current economic realities, the situation facing our students is, in many cases, quite severe,” said Joel Ostrow, Ph.D., chair of the Political Science Department at Benedictine. “I have had several students tell me that they cannot commit to Model U.N. despite their strong interest because of the costs.” So Tim Greene, who participated in the Model U.N. program when he was a student at Benedictine, and john greene Realtor have stepped in to help. They have created a program to sponsor students in the Model U.N. program who face financial hardship called “The Diplomacy in Action Sponsorship Program.” The purpose of the program is to enable interested students who might not otherwise be able to participate because of financial concerns to attend the Model U.N. conference in New York. To be eligible, students must be enrolled in PLSC-C215, “Model United Nations,” and meet the academic, team-building and other obligations in the course. Selection will be based on a review of application materials and an interview with the applicants. The program will sponsor two students and will cover the cost of airfare and necessary incidentals during the weeklong trip. However, the Political Science Department would like to sponsor more students. “In Spring 2009, we are representing Cuba and the Dominican Republic at the Model U.N. conference,” Ostrow said. “We do not want students to miss this valuable opportunity because of financial hardship.” Benedictine has been one of the most decorated delegations to Model U.N. in recent years. In 2007, the French Delegation comprised of 27 Benedictine University students was awarded “Outstanding Delegation,” the highest honor given by the National Collegiate Conference Association (NCCA). Last year, the 16 Benedictine University students who comprised the Angola Delegation to Model U.N. were recognized as a “Distinguished Delegation” by NCCA. The 12 Benedictine students representing Palestine were awarded “Honorable Mention.” People interested in sponsoring a student in whole or in part are asked to contact Ostrow at jostow@ben.edu or by calling (630) 829-6470. For more information about the Model U.N. program, e-mail ModelUN@ben.edu.

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Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.