At a time when so many Americans are focused on the situation in Syria, the College of DuPage wants the community to know that its students are also concerned with the world outside local boundaries.
COD’s Model United Nations leaders reported to the COD Board of Education recently on its activities.
“They represent the best of what we do at COD,” David Goldberg, political science professor, told the board.
Goldberg cosponsors the activity, now in its 19th year, with fellow political science professor Christian Goergen.
The 25 students in COD’s Model UN this year represent a significant increase from past school years.
“It’s bigger than it has ever been,” Goldberg said.
The club meets weekly throughout the academic year but steps up its activity as it gets ready to attend one of two annual Model UN conferences, one in Chicago and another national convention at another city.
COD’s Model UN has numerous committees focusing on specific problems such as water issues in various third world nations, malaria in Africa and nuclear proliferation.
But Goldberg stressed that the members mirrored the real UN in responding to various events around the world as they unfolded.
“We’ve been talking about Syria,” he said.
Jessica Stemple is a junior at Northern Illinois University majoring in public administration who served as COD Model UN vice president last year.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” she said, stressing that the club helped her set priorities for her career goals.
At last year’s convention in Charlotte, N.C. her responsibility was to address the aggressive rhetoric emanating from North Korea.
“We also presented positions on extending the UN’s Millennium Goals set in 2000 for the new century,” she said.
This year’s Model UN President is Haroon Atcha, a management major who plans on completing his degree in one of COD’s partnership programs with Benedictine University.
He said that one of the biggest benefits he derived from the program was experience in supervising people and managing an organization.
Atcha pointed out that fundraising for the annual road trip, $2,500 raised entirely by the club, presented a significant challenge for him.
“Just getting there was big for me,” he said.
Beyond the routine details, Atcha found satisfaction through the competition with other schools, especially those that had funding through their school’s budget.
“It’s nice knowing that we can go to the same conference and that we can compete on the same level,” he said.
Indeed, COD’s Model UN won an award at the Charlotte conference and Goldberg was honored for his work as a faculty advisor.
Goldberg noted the absence of the Model UN from being a line item in COD’s budget, but still credited the college.
“We’re fundraising on a regular basis,” he said. “But we’ve had good support from several administrators.”