Kettering Model U.N. club competes at Harvard
The Kettering delegation prepared for the conference by studying the history, culture, economics, politics and foreign policy.
Members of the Kettering University Model United Nations (MUN) club participated in the 60th session of the Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN) conference in February at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel.
The Kettering team consisted of eight students (Michael Graham, Janna VanOvermeer, Nurudeen Huthman, Hilary White, Jonathan Dickson, Sharna-Kay Dobney, Jeff Li and Saheb Kapoor) and faculty advisor Michael Callahan, professor of history at Kettering University. The team was assigned to represent the countries of Nepal and Serbia. The delegation represented these countries in specific committees such as the Historical General Assembly, Legal Committee and Special Political and Decolonization committees. Topics discussed ranged from cyber security and cyber defense, preventing narcotics trafficking, multinational corporations and international law, sustainable transport, sustainable agriculture and a comprehensive nuclear weapons test ban treaty.
The Kettering delegation prepared for the conference by studying the history, culture, economics, politics and foreign policy of both nations so as to best represent them at the conference. Apart from solving world problems, delegates were involved in social events with other delegations. Particular highlights of the social events included the cocktail hour where Kettering student Sharna-Kay Dobney presented cultural items from her native country, Jamaica. Another highlight was the free round trip ticket to Europe won by Kettering’s Hilary White in a drawing entered by all of the conference’s attendees.
“As a delegation, we were tasked with representing the people of Nepal and Serbia just as their own nationals would represent them at the United Nations headquarters in New York,” said Nurudeen Huthman, a graduate student majoring in Electrical and Computer Engineering. “Individual delegates then studied their committee topics in the context of the countries they represented to properly prepare them for debate, allow them to develop their own ideas for solutions as well as understand current country foreign policy.”
The conference presented Kettering students with an opportunity to interact, network and develop friendships with aspiring leaders from all over the world. The group enjoyed debates and negotiations, as well as developing pages of actionable items written to resolve many global issues that were discussed.
“Nothing can prepare you for the experience of being in a room with thousands of students who plan to do this kind of work for a living,” Huthman said. “The atmosphere surrounding the conference was that of enthusiasm, political optimism, passion for problem solving and negotiation. This conference also demonstrated the continued importance of the fusion of engineering techniques and the social sciences in the development of a better world for all its inhabitants.”
The HNMUN conference was founded in 1955, 10 years after the creation of the United Nations. It is the oldest and largest conference of its kind, with more than 3,000 students and faculty from more than 40 countries participating. HNMUN and conferences of its kind provide a simulation of how the United Nations tackles world issues. This was the third time a delegation from Kettering University participated.
Currently, the Kettering University Model U.N. Club only exists in B-section. For more information about joining or starting an A-section club, contact club president Amy Allison at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We’d like to extend a thank you of exponential proportions to all our sponsors,” Huthman said. “This invaluable experience would not have been possible without the Kettering Student Government, Student Life, the Liberal Studies Department, Office of Multicultural Student Initiatives, Provost Robert Simpson and President Robert McMahan. We’d also like to say a very special thank you and appreciation to our faculty advisor, Professor Callahan, for taking the time to help with our position papers, arguments and providing his wealth of knowledge through out the conference.”