The United Nations Club at Skidmore College organizes and helps students prepare for participation in the annual intercollegiate simulation on the UN, National Model United Nations (NMUN), a conference hosted in New York and sponsored by the National Collegiate Conference Association. The club helps the involved Skidmore students familiarize themselves with the structure and policies of the assigned country at the simulation. Members are required to do research on a variety of subjects relating to general issues before the United Nations and the stance on these issues of the country the student might be representing in mock simulations, debates and the annual simulation. Skidmore College has been sending delegations to the Model UN conference annually for the past forty years, and has represented numerous countries, such as Mongolia, Israel, France, Poland, Cambodia, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Canada, Ireland, and Kiribati. A delegation of four students is preparing to represent the Solomon Islands at the March 2010 conference. The faculty adviser, Aldo Vacs, is providing the students guidance on the workings of the UN and the political and economic issues facing the Solomon Islands.
Apart from preparation for the NMUN student conference, the United Nation club aims to educate the Skidmore Community about the workings of international institutions such as the United Nations, and the purpose of this institution for the United States and the rest of the world. In addition, the club is scheduled to hold events for the Skidmore Community to further the education about the structure and purpose of the United Nations, such as workshops on the reform of the United Nations Security Council, expert lectures on the work of the United Nations, and fundraisers in support of United Nations programs in developing countries.
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS CLUB
Have you seen a good film lately? Come join the swell folks of the Foreign Film Forum every Tuesday night for a cool flick. Interested in International politics? Discuss your opinions with professors and students in an informal conversation Wednesday afternoons in the Spa for Brown Bag Politics. Want to go to simulations to debate with other students the politics of the Globe? Join the Model European Union Club or the Model United Nations Club. Want to bring a cool speaker to campus or organize a Teach-in to inform the community about important topics? If you answered yes to any of these, then YOU MUST get involved with the International Affairs Club (IAC)!!! These are just a few of the many events and programs that the IAC has been involved in doing. Last semester we had a great German feast at the Spa Brahaus where we held our second annual International Affairs Dinner which invited all IA students and faculty. Students participating in the Model European Union Club traveled to Prague, in Czech Republic in January for the annual simulation where they played the part of the European Commission. Students involved in the Model United Nations Club will be traveling to New York City in the April for their simulation. Last but not least, the IAC is in the process of planning its most fantastic event!! The Case Flag Benefit. The formal evening of wines and cheeses from around the world will raise money to purchase flags representing all the countries of the world for the new Case Center! We will also be celebrating International May Day and a possible co-event for Cinco de Mayo! And don't forget about the Foreign Film Forum. We had over 100 attendees to the showing of "Run Lola Run." Coming up: we have Il Mostro and Urga! Come join the fun and get involved with the International Affairs Club!
MODEL European Union (EU)
The European Union Club at Skidmore College is one of the first of its kind in the United States. It organizes and helps prepare students for an annual intercollegiate simulation of the European Union (EU) called EuroSim, alternately held at a U.S. college campus and a European college campus. Club members receive Skidmore's country and role assignments by September for January simulations and December for April simulations, and are responsible for beginning research shortly thereafter. The club meets weekly throughout both terms until departure in April for U.S. locations or January for European locations. The 2008 EuroSim was held in Germany; the topic was the constitutional convention and Skidmore students represented Sweden and Finland. EuroSim 2009 was held at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY; the topic was fighting crime and terrorism and Skidmore represented Belgium. The most recent simulation, Eurosim 2010, was held at Antwerpen University in Antwerp, Belgium. The topic was EU-Russia relations and Skidmore represented Bulgaria. The faculty adviser, Kate Graney, has provided guidance to the students before and during the conference, and delivered a lecture on "Russia-EU Relations: The View from Tatarstan."
Students gain more than just cognitive learning from simulations - they learn and practice negotiating skills, research skills, and speaking skills, and have the unique opportunity to meet new people, not only from their own universities, but from other schools and countries as well. The European Union club also organizes movie nights and dinners throughout the year to spread awareness and understanding of the EU and the issues and challenges that arise with integration. Club members also participate in roundtables and debates on the year's simulation topics or current events that are free and open to the Skidmore community.
Learning through simulation and extracurricular exercises such as these broadens and deepens students' understanding of diplomatic negotiation and the foreign policy choices before European states as their governments seek to balance the realities of domestic politics with the imperatives of European interdependence. It is an extremely valuable commitment for students interested in International Affairs, Government, or History.
For more information on EuroSim you can check out www.eurosim.org