2009
Xi'an, China students will partner with Benedictine delegation at Model U.N.

Xi'an, China students will partner with Benedictine delegation at Model U.N.
November 3, 2009

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

Forty years ago, when the National Collegiate Conference Association (NCCA) was incorporated to ensure the future of the National Model United Nations (NMUN), the idea of American and Chinese students working together was unthinkable. Many Chinese students were at the forefront of China’s “Cultural Revolution” as members of the Red Guard, exerting their authority over many parts of the country and accelerating their efforts at socialist reconstruction. Rather than seek compromise with those who disagreed with them, they posted the names of suspected “counter-revolutionaries” on bulletin boards. But the world has changed a lot during the past four decades. This spring, a delegation from Benedictine University will partner with a group of students from Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU) in Xi’an, China, at the Model U.N. in New York. “This will be a unique and enriching experience for everyone,” said Joel Ostrow, Ph.D., chair of the Political Science department at Benedictine University. “Eight of us who attended the NMUN China conference a year ago were struck by how professional the NPU students were. “We are convinced that this will be a rewarding and, hopefully, long-term partnership,” Ostrow added. Model U.N. 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. The experience engages young people in the study and discussion of global issues and encourages them to develop skills such as research, writing, public speaking, problem solving, consensus building, conflict resolution, and compromise and cooperation. Benedictine University students will work closely with their counterparts in Xi’an, primarily over the Internet, to prepare for the conference. The NPU students will then visit Benedictine University for two weeks prior to the conference in New York. Participation in Model U.N. by Benedictine students is made possible in part by “The Diplomacy in Action Sponsorship Program” established a year ago by Model U.N. alumnus and former Benedictine student Tim Greene and the Naperville-based real estate agency john greene, Realtor. The purpose of the sponsorship 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. The program helps defray some of the cost of the trip (the University covers the cost of the hotel and conference). 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 is based on a review of application materials and an interview with the applicants. 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 NCCA. Last year, the 11 students who comprised the Cuban Delegation were recognized as a “Distinguished Delegation.” 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.