Model UN makes their return to St. Louis


Sophie Reese

Model UN makes their annual trip to St. Louis

by Sophie Reese, Photo Editor

Iran, Kazakhstan and South Korea are the countries that Simpson College Model United Nations are representing at the Midwest Model United Nations conference in St Louis Missouri.

Students in Model UN began researching their countries at the beginning of the semester with a focus on various topics such as environment, security issues, human rights and more. There are 12 students participating this year.

Professor of Political Science, Eduardo Magalhaes III, explains that this course is student-led and students are able to do as much or as little as they please. “I tell them that the more prepared you are, the better the experience is going to be. But even if you don’t know a whole lot, you’re still going to have a really valuable experience at the conference,” Magalhaes said. 

Students at the conference will be working to come up with resolutions for their focused topic by speaking with representatives of other countries, debating, discussing research and giving speeches. 

Paige Nygaard, a senior history major, has been involved in Model UN throughout all four years of her time at Simpson. This year she will be representing the Islamic Republic of Iran and General Assembly One.

“I specifically will be discussing the convention on certain conventional weapons and preventing terrorists from receiving small arms and light weapons,” Nygaard said. 

Nygaard was one of the few students who submitted a position paper for an award. “I wrote basically just a one-page paper on both my topics that is how the Islamic Republic of Iran would choose to talk about those topics and then I also have done a lot of research on what’s going on in Iran right now,” Nygaard said. “I spent a good amount of my winter break just working on my position paper and all my research and everything.”

“What I really love about Model UN is that it ties so nicely into the mission of the college in terms of recognizing and appreciating the experience of others,” Magalhaes said. “There’s no better way to develop a sense of how the other understands the world than when you are representing that other.”

Magalhaes explains that one thing he hopes students take away from this experience is that they can find new ways to problem-solve. “Maybe there’s a different way of tackling this problem that we haven’t explored yet and that’s certainly critical thinking.”

The Model UN course is a term 3 course, beginning at the start of the spring semester and ends after the conference. 

Simpson College is the only group from Iowa attending this particular conference and has been highly successful. “Over the last 11 years, Simpson College has won 32 delegation awards and I think it’s a sign that the students are taking up the responsibility to be engaged, to be involved, to be active,” Magalhaes said.

Model UN is a course that is open and available for any student to participate in regardless of what their major is.