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03/29/2011

Model United Nations Students and Alumni Celebrate 35 Years

Quick Facts

 In recognition of the 35th anniversary, this year’s theme is “35 Years of Debating the World.”
 This year’s keynote speaker is James Carouso, who has worked with the U.S. Department of State since 1995 and will serve as counselor for economic affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia later this year.

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James Carouso with Student Coordinators
Matthew MacIntyre and Kayla Barber, back
row, and Meredith Edlin, the Secretary-General

ROCK HILL, S.C. - Winthrop’s Model United Nations will recognize the 35th anniversary of the three-day conference on March 30-April 1.

During this year’s annual conference, nearly 300 high school students from 30 high schools will represent the views of more than 60 countries during committee meetings and general session debates.

Each year, the conference includes a specific theme and a special conference committee that often reflects the current political climate. In recognition of the 35th anniversary, this year’s theme is “35 Years of Debating the World.” Organizers formed a special committee modeled after the Security Council as it existed in 1976, the year of the first Model U.N. at Winthrop.

This year’s keynote speaker is James Carouso, who has worked with the U.S. Department of State since 1995 and will serve as counselor for economic affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, later this year. Following a 14-year career in banking and finance, Carouso joined the U.S Department of State in 1995. He has served as a Foreign Service Officer specializing in economic affairs in the Dominican Republic, South Africa, Australia, Thailand and Cyprus; in June will take up the post of Counselor for Economic Affairs at the US Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, in June. Carouso grew up in New York City and Athens, Greece, and holds degrees from Hamilton College and the American Graduate School of International Management.

The first Model U.N. was held on campus under the direction of Melford Wilson, professor of political science, and Alan Rash, the first Student Coordinator. Since then more than 2,000 Winthrop students and 10,000 high school students have participated in these conferences.

The Winthrop Model U.N. is unique in several ways. It was the first program of its kind to combine participation of college students and high school students. The Winthrop students, who enroll in the United Nations course, are each assigned a country. Throughout the spring semester, the students study and debate issues commonly discussed in the assemblies of the United Nations.

During conference, these students act as delegates to the nation they represent, debating a resolution on Wednesday night and assisting the high school delegates of the same nation as they debate resolutions in committees and plenary sessions throughout the conference. The following spring semester, collegiate delegates may enroll in a Model U.N. symposium where they serve as the Secretariat, learn to chair and manage a large conference, in addition to attending a collegiate-level competition.

This year’s Secretariat is under the leadership of Student Coordinators Matthew MacIntyre and Kayla Barber, and Meredith Edlin, the Secretary-General. These three students have participated in the Model U.N. program and course work for a combined 14 years of experience.

The 35th anniversary celebration will continue on April 2, when all Model U.N. alumni have been invited to a reunion and mock debate to commemorate the anniversary.

For more information please contact Chris Van Aller, Model U.N. faculty advisor, at 803/323-4667 or e-mail vanallerc@winthrop.edu.

Here is the schedule:

March 30 – Afternoon registration for high school participants. Keynote speaker Jim Carouso, a U.S. State Department diplomat, will speak at 7 p.m. in Tillman Auditorium. Following the keynote address by Carouso, the first session of General Assembly will be called to order, and the conference will have officially begun.

March 31 – High school students will spend the day in committee sessions debating resolutions that have been previously been submitted to the Secretary-General and the two Student Coordinators.

April 1 – This is the second day of committee sessions. The General Assembly also meets twice this day, once as a full delegation minus the current Security Council and 1976 Security Council. The afternoon session of General Assembly will be attended by all delegations, including both Security Councils. Following the closing session awards will be handed out to delegations, delegates and schools.

April 2 – The Model UN Alumni will be given a campus tour at 1 p.m. At 2:30 p.m. there will be a mock debate lasting roughly two hours by Model UN Alumni. At 7 p.m. founder Melford Wilson of political science will give a speech to alumni in the Tuttle Dining Room adjoining McBryde Hall. 


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