High school students vote on a resolution in a Model UN Plenary Session.
LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - Local students were among the 243 high school students who took part in “international diplomacy” during Lock Haven University’s Model United Nations, April 15 and 16. Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
This year’s attendees included students from surrounding high schools including Central Mountain, Jersey Shore, Williamsport, Bellefonte, Bald Eagle, Bucktail, North Penn , Sugar Valley Rural Charter, State College, Susquenita, Delaware Valley, and St. Joseph of New Jersey.
The Model UN is a program in which delegations draft and debate resolutions on contemporary international issues. The schedule includes a series General Assembly plenary sessions, committee meetings and caucuses. The students follow the Lock Haven Model United Nations Rules of Procedure. The theme topics for this year's Model UN included Human Rights, Reforming the structure of the UN, and the role of the UN in the international hotspots of winter/spring 2010.
The event was opened by Dr. Keith Miller, LHU President.
Dr. Andrew Musila, assistant professor of political science, is in charge of the Lock Haven University Model UN program. Musila, a native Kenyan, noted that “Model UN provides a forum for the students to expand their strong leadership skills, as well as appreciate the tedious process of policy making on the global scale.”
The two-day event culminated in an awards ceremony.
After the awards presentation, Musila said, “The students did such a wonderful work presenting their well thought out ideas and being deferential to their colleagues. They obeyed the diplomatic rules of etiquette and procedure. At the end, it was not easy to make the decision on the winners in the five categories since everyone did a fantastic job representing their countries.”
Over 20 students from Musila’s United Nations and International Relations Course (POLI 370) served as hosts and facilitators, and help select the award winners. Dr. Lawrence T. Farley, professor of political science who directed the LHU Model UN program for nearly three decades, helped with online debates and the program web page.
Bill Hocker, lead teacher, global studies, from St. Joseph High School in Hammonton, N.J., commented, “Model UN brings the world into the classroom. It allows the students to apply their knowledge and research just as the delegates from the United Nations.” Mark Condo, co-enrichment teacher at Central Mountain High School, agreed. “Model UN is real-world problem solving at its best,” he said.
The event is, in the words of social studies educator Marilouise Mazzante of Williamsport (Pa.) High School, “a meaningful event for our students.” Jeffrey Klugh co-adviser for Model UN for Jersey Shore Area School District, voiced the sentiments of all the teachers and counselors from the participating high schools. He said, “We are grateful to Lock Haven University for hosting this event.”
Musila stated, “LHU is honored to continue this tradition next year when we will host another Model UN High School program, April 14-15, 2011, a date chosen by all the high school counselors present at the 2010 conference.”
The Lock Haven University Model United Nations program is the largest academic outreach program to the high schools in the region conducted by the university. The program was begun by Dr. Jorge Mottet, a professor in the history department and later a Director of International Education at LHU. Dr. Lawrence T. Farley, professor of political science, took over the program when he arrived at LHU in 1979 and directed it until 2007, when Dr. Andrew Musila took over the program.