Campus: CSU, Chico -- May 2, 2000

Model U.N. Team Wins Top Award at Conference

California State University, Chico's Model United Nations team received the Outstanding Delegation award during an annual conference hosting 200 collegiate delegations from the United States and overseas.

The 2000 National Model United Nations conference was held April 18-22 in New York City. Activities took place at U.N. headquarters and the Grand Hyatt hotel at Grand Central Station.

The CSU, Chico team was one of only eight delegations to receive top honors. Thirteen schools received second-place awards, and 15 received honorable mention awards.

CSU, Chico has received Model U.N. awards nine out of the past 10 years, but had never won top honors before.

The Model U.N. initiated a new writing and researching award this year. CSU, Chico was one of only 10 schools to receive an award for Outstanding Position Papers submitted prior to the conference.

Twenty-six students were in CSU, Chico's delegation. Political science professor Rick Ostrom, faculty adviser, accompanied the students to New York.

"The students really came together and worked as a team," Ostrom said. "It takes diverse talents to be a good delegate-the students paired up and compensated for each other's weaknesses by putting writers and speakers together. "

Model U.N. activities involve writing position papers, speaking in committees and lobbying other delegations. Students find out each November what country they will represent after submitting a list of preferred countries in October. All U.N. member nations as well as many non-governmental organizations are represented.

Ostrom said CSU, Chico did not receive any of its requested countries, and was assigned Belarus, a hard-line communist state from the former Soviet Union. "We hadn't played that type of country before," Ostrom said. "Playing that kind of country is out of character of the countries we like to play, but we obviously did it well."

Of the 26 delegates CSU, Chico sent, four were area high school students who acted in important support roles. Ostrom said the students attended Fair View High School and had been trained by the CSU, Chico students.

The National Model United Nations conference started in 1923 as a simulation of the League of Nations before adopting its present form in 1946. Several foreign countries, including Germany and Japan, also send student delegations to the conference.

Media are invited to meet CSU, Chico's Model U. N. student delegates Thursday, May 4, 9:30 a.m. in Butte Hall room 703.

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