ULV represents Samoa at MUN conference

by Tim Tevault
Staff Writer

While most students spent their spring break having fun in the sun and partying, several students went to New York for the National Model United Nations (NMUN) Conference. Eight students, along with John Jang, professor of government and global studies, spent nearly six days representing their MUN country, Samoa.

Instead of spending their days lounging around the beaches like other ULV students Jang’s students were spending full days (usually from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m.) discussing issues about their respective countries.

“It was fun but it was a lot of work, too,” said Vicky Martinez.

MUN is basically a mirror of the real United Nations, with the exception of a few minor details. Instead of actual representatives from participating countries, delegates from the roughly 200 universities were given nations to represent. Once the universities did research on their respective countries, they were assigned to different committees in which they had different objectives.

Junior Darla Franklin was assigned to the General Assembly committee. She said they spent the whole time talking about a topic they decided on, which was about the new economic order. They later spent time caucusing, where the countries’ representatives got together with people in their region and discussed how it affected them as a whole.

“It was kind of hard because we had Samoa,” Franklin said. “It was hard to find information.”

The whole time they were there, with the exception of the final day, they spent talking about the issues in their committees. It all resulted in a vote on the issues by all of the General Assembly MUN members at the Great Hall, where the actual UN votes on issues.

To prepare themselves for the trip, it was required that the students do weeks of research on Samoa, the UN and the issues they would be talking about.

“I spent three weeks researching,” said Franklin.

Senior Stefan Chacon, who was chair for the group, said, “When we got to the conference it was pretty intense. This as the first time I organized something so intricate. I was chair[person] so it was a lot of hard work.”

Jang, who was the group’s adviser, thought the week went very well. “I think overall it was an exceptionally good week,” he said. “The group, even though kind of small, is a very cohesive group. They got to know the workings of the UN.”

“It was for people to know how it works,” added Franklin. “That’s what I got out of it. I never knew how it worked.”

Jang, who has taught at ULV for 34 years, has helped head ULV’s division of MUN since 1969. He has, off and on, been in charge of the group. He believes this organization is beneficial to all involved. “This [group] is combined with mostly academics and some socialization with students from other universities,” he said.

“It’s a great educational opportunity,” said Chacon.

Joining Chacon were Franklin, Martinez, juniors Adriana Contreras, Anna Roy, Nikkia Williams and Sanela Hadzihasanovic, and sophomore Jennifer Contreras.

Students interested in participating in next year’s event can attend a meeting taking place at Lordsburg Coffee Wednesday, May 16. The meeting will be informative for potential members, where they will discuss how to join the group.

For more information contact Jang at ext. 4225.

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