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November 29, 2018

SVSU students shine at Model United Nations Conference

Saginaw Valley State University students’ enthusiasm for international understanding helped them stand out from their collegiate peers during the eleventh American Model United Nations Conference in Chicago November 17-20.

The Saginaw Valley Model United Nations club captured two team honors and one individual award.

Model United Nations is an organization for students with an active interest in international affairs, policy and diplomacy. Through participation in simulations and regional/national conferences members gain valuable skills in research, communication, and conflict resolution.

The SVSU club won as a group for the quality of writing on its pre-conference papers relating to the nations of Ghana and Kazakhstan.

As an individual, Josh Cianek, a political science major from Auburn, won an award for exceptional justice for his role on the International Court of Justice. He also was elected by his peers to act as the president of the International Court of Justice.

In Model United Nations, justices are responsible for reading the briefs and hearing arguments on each of the three assigned cases. Justices will then deliberate to analyze and discuss the cases and arguments in order to determine the appropriate applications of international law in each case. Justices are also responsible for writing opinions for each case.

Stewart French, SVSU associate professor of political science and team adviser, said the Saginaw Valley U.N. club has cumulatively won over 40 awards in 11 years at national and international conferences.

At the most recent conference, SVSU students competed against their peers from schools including the University of Chicago, University of Minnesota, University of Notre Dame and University of Wisconsin, among others.

The SVSU team will travel to Toronto in February to compete at the North American Model United Nations Conference.