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Model UN Students Bring Lessons on Collaboration, Diplomacy Back to Bethel

Annual conference challenges students to explore others’ perspectives while working toward collaborative solutions.

By Jason Schoonover ’09, content specialist

January 04, 2019 | Noon

Bethel’s Model UN club participated in the American Model United Nations (AMUN) Conference in Chicago in November.

Bethel’s Model UN club participated in the American Model United Nations (AMUN) Conference in Chicago in November.

Nineteen Bethel students brought lessons on collaboration and compromise back to Bethel after attending a conference in November on international relations and politics.

Bethel’s Model UN club participated in the American Model United Nations (AMUN) Conference in Chicago from November 17 to 21, 2018. One group of Bethel students represented Slovenia, while another represented Venezuela. Alaina Turnquist ’19, a political science and international relations double major, received a Best Delegate Award for her work with the Slovenia team. 

Leading up to the conference, students focused on their research skills as they learned to see the world through the eyes of someone in the country and speak from their point of view as they strove to accurately represent another country. At the conference, students must work collaboratively and speak in a way that builds trust and reciprocity as countries with diverse points of view work toward compromised agreements, says Associate Professor of Political Science Christopher Moore, the club’s faculty adviser.

“This directly connects to our core value of being a world-changer—and to being salt and light, frankly,” Moore says. “The way we think about how we teach our students to engage in political problems—to care deeply about what kinds of problems are afflicting the world—calls us as Christians to be engaged in that world. And we’re not going to agree all the time, so there’s a way to represent Slovenia from a Christian point of view, there’s a way to represent Ukraine from that point of view, and to think about how we’re called to make the world a more Christ-like place.” 

The conference pushes students to focus on diplomacy to build trust, and compromise, which Moore says meshes well with Bethel’s value of being salt and light. He adds that students return from the conference excited to share what they’ve learned. The students plan to host events on campus during the 2019 spring semester to emphasize international diplomacy and political issues.

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