Beginning Monday, January 25, 2021, 14 students from Columbia Union academies will participate in The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN) conference, one of the oldest and largest Model United Nations (MUN) conferences in the world. The conference will run for a full week and, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be completely virtual, with all debates and committee activities being held online. More than 200 international high schools from around the world will take part in the conference, and this is the first time that a group of students from Seventh-day Adventist academies will attend.
Model United Nations is an experiential learning activity based on the United Nations General Assembly and the UN Security Council’s activities. Students take on the role of diplomats from countries worldwide as they discuss and debate significant global events and crises. During a typical conference, participants work collaboratively to propose and adopt formal resolutions that attempt to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.
The WAU Honors College arranged this opportunity through their Center for Global Programs. “I attended THIMUN for ten years while I was working and teaching in France, and it was a magical week for students,” said Dr. Jonathan Scriven, the Associate Director of the Honors College and Director of the Center for Global Programs. “When I heard this year’s conference would be a virtual event, I immediately thought about getting some of our Columbia Union academies involved. It was an opportunity that was too big to pass up.”
WAU hosts a MUN conference — CAPITALMUN — on campus each year, and several of the students who will participate in the event in The Hague have previously attended CAPITALMUN. “I’m so excited for students who have been introduced to MUN at WAU to get the chance to experience a conference on a truly global scale,” Dr. Scriven said. Academies participating in THIMUN include Spencerville Adventist Academy, Highland View Academy, and Pine Forge Academy. At the conference, they will represent the country of Ukraine.
“This year, we are attending the conference online, but my hope is that next year we will take a group of Columbia Union academy students to The Hague to experience the conference in person,” Dr. Scriven added. THIMUN takes place each year during the final week of January.
CAPITALMUN, WAU’s Model United Nations conference, is one step in a broader WAU Honors College plan to increase international opportunities for students at WAU. For more information or to get your students involved, please contact Dr. Jonathan Scriven at firstname.lastname@example.org.