3 Sitting Bull Students Participate in Model UNNov 15th, 2009 | By tcj | Category: 21-2: K-12 Education, Winter 2009, Tribal College News
By Mark Holman
Three Sitting Bull College (SBC, Fort Yates, ND) students, all Standing Rock Sioux, attended the 2009 National Model United Nations Conference (NMUN) in New York City in April. Over 2,500 students from over 40 nations attended the global conference. SBC was the only tribal college and the only college or university from the Dakotas and Minnesota to attend.
The SBC students worked with students from large universities in the Americas, Europe, and Asia to seek consensus on important global and national issues. For five days, the Standing Rock Sioux students represented the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Model United Nations. Bosnia and Herzegovina (a small nation roughly the size of West Virginia) provided a good starting point for what is hoped to be an annual SBC activity.
The NMUN program is set up to mirror the activities of the actual United Nations, giving students an experience as close to the real thing as possible. Students were assigned a committee based on a country’s actual membership in UN committees and affiliated organizations. They submitted position papers on various global issues representing their nation’s position.
The committee papers were merged together with other nations’ papers to become resolutions. This process involved working with other nations and organizations to form coalitions around shared issues and goals.
The three SBC students who attended were Jerl Thompson, Monique Runnels, and Mary Jamerson. The students put in long days of hard work that were both exhilarating and exhausting.
The week ended at the United Nations headquarters where each nation cast votes on the final resolutions, followed by the closing ceremony in the famous UN General Assembly. The final resolutions were then forwarded to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to become part of the UN archive. United Nations staff members say they always look forward to the annual NMUN conference because it renews their idealism with a spirit of “how the United Nations should work.”
SBC participated with assistance from NMUN’s Diversity Building Scholarship Initiative through the NMUN Board of Directors. The college is seeking other funding sources for next year.
For information, contact Mark Holman, director of Library Services, Sitting Bull College Library, at (701) 854-8024 or at email@example.com.