And the tradition continues.
For the 50th year,
Cardinal Stritch University students packed their suits, ties, skirts, and
heels and prepared to shift their perspective and debate pressing international
issues as they joined hundreds of other college students for the Midwest Model
United Nations event.
Today (Feb. 19), eight Stritch students are
heading to St. Louis to represent South Korea during a four-day event where
they will debate current global issues in a simulation of the United Nations
General Assembly and Security Council. The group began preparing for the event
in August, with some taking a three-credit semester-long course and others
gathering research outside of class as part of the Model U.N. club.
Senior political science major
Bobby Spoden, a four-year participant in Model U.N., is the head delegate and
club president this year.
“Honestly it’s probably the
biggest experience I’ll take from going to Stritch,” said Spoden, noting that
he’s represented countries on four continents – Argentina, Switzerland, Togo
and, now, South Korea. “I mean four years in a row. It’s hard to forget it.”
This year, he most anticipates
his role representing South Korea on the Security Council.
“That’s pretty exciting for me
because, of the topics this year, two of them address nuclear weapons in North
Korea,” Spoden said. “When I saw those topics, I said, ‘Yes!’ I’m going to be
the star of the show, I guess.”
Throughout the years, Stritch
represented a wide range of countries, including South Africa during Apartheid
in 1963, Iran during the 1973 oil crisis, and the United Arab Emirates in 1987
when the Stritch delegation wrote a position paper titled, “Measures for
Eliminating the Problem of International Terrorism.”
“It’s an interesting way to
learn,” Spoden said. “That’s probably the biggest thing I’ve taken away from
it. Taking political science classes, you tend to learn how things work and
about a bunch of different governmental structures and things like that. But
it’s very different to actually go and try to act in a certain way. It’s really
experiential learning and that’s probably what’s drawn me to it all these
Personally, he said he especially
appreciates the opportunities to work on his public speaking skills and also
the many relationships he gained through the experience.
“Just about all my closest
friends I’ve met at Stritch have come from Model U.N.,” Spoden said. “And it’s
really helped me build relationships with the professors, especially when
you’re working with them very closely in a small group outside of normal
Before he heads to graduate
school where he plans to pursue a master’s degree in library science, Spoden hopes
to recruit students to keep the program strong and to continue the tradition in
years to come.
“I would encourage people to look
into it, because it’s a different way to experience politics,” Spoden said. “It’s
a lot different than just listening and disagreeing. You have to come up with
arguments from a different point of view. …I think it’s very useful to know how
other people view things, to be able to understand them and argue from a
different point of view than your own.”
Joining Spoden this weekend are: senior Stephanie Coker (political science
and music), senior Alex Coralic (computer science and political science),
senior Paige Quinones (political science),
junior Jake Riegert (political science), sophomore Marie Gentil
(communications), sophomore Nate Hoernke (biology),and freshman Ariana Colon