EagleMUNC II — '40 Hours to Change the World'
bc model united nations event introduces new crisis simulation
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (April 2014) — “Forty hours to change the world, and the clock is ticking....” That dramatic challenge was central to the second annual EagleMUNC, a three-day event organized by undergraduates of Boston College Model United Nations and attended by student delegates from across the U.S. and abroad.
The goal of the conference, held at Boston’s Westin Copley Plaza Hotel, was to expose high school students to the reality of international politics and decision making by simulating world events in a way that went beyond the formal committee debates that ordinarily characterize Model UN, according to Michael Keefe ’16, EagleMUNC deputy secretary general.
This expanded problem-solving experience, which presented “a tangled web of interests and motives that more closely mimics the real world,” Keefe said, included a 40-hour simulation model that positioned attendees to address potential crises ranging from a stock exchange failure to hacking of classified files to massive server crashes.
Simulations included assemblies and committees modeled on entities such as the World Health Organization, U.N. Security Council, U.S. Senate and Asian Joint Forum, among others. Delegates were confronted with historical simulations of the Crusades, the New England Confederation, and 1979 U.S. Soviet Union Relations, as well as contemporary issues such as debates on international banking, energy policy, the crisis in Crimea and the threat of cyberwar. Each committee was chaired by a BC undergraduate student who spent months in preparation, writing background guides, researching the topics, communicating with delegates and planning crisis events.
In addition, delegates were immersed in a paperless infrastructure of position emails, social media accounts and up-to-the-minute communications, to amp up the pace of the proceedings. Each delegate also was required to work within predetermined budgetary and military constraints tailored to his or her individual position, and to interact with an extended network of journalists, lobbyists, family members and other individuals, requiring the attendee to weigh the consequences of every move against a number of competing interests.
“With shrewd management, delegates will seal a glorious fate. Conversely, with shortsightedness, greed, and misjudgment, power will turn to sand through their fingertips,” according to an impressively seductive event description on the Model U.N. educational site BestDelegate.com.
On a more practical note, the new approach to the conference reflects the kind of hands-on education that can help position delegates for future endeavors such as college applications, say organizers of BC Model U.N., which is this year’s winner of the Student Programs Office Organization of the Year award.
The event drew more than than 500 high school delegates—double the number of attendees at the inaugural conference—from locations as far away as Hawaii, Trinidad and Tobago, Panama and Mexico City.
Former U.S. Senator Scott Brown, J.D. ’85 delivered opening remarks, offering a political perspective based on his time on Capitol Hill.
About a hundred of the delegates also attended a pre-conference EagleMUNC academy day at BC to tour campus with the Student Admission Program, hear from Adjunct Associate Professor Kathleen Bailey, associate director of the Islamic Civilizations and Societies Program, on the current crisis in the Ukraine, and attend other student-led workshops.
For more information about EagleMUNC, vist eaglemunc.org
--Office of News & Public Affairs