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Elon students debate world's most serious crises at Model United Nation conference

A group of eight Elon students recently spent the weekend in Washington, D.C., putting themselves in the place of international leaders to navigate historic and fictional international crises. 

Elon student Maddie Reynolds, second from the left, laughs during discussions at the 44th National Collegiate Security Conference.

Summer Taylor '17 recently spent the weekend as part of the Irish Republican Army, playing a role in the Anglo-Irish War of 1919 during which the IRA would successfully pass an Irish constitution and retake the northern territories of the island. 

Spencer Wagner, left, playing the role of Moses Annenberg, discusses with a colleague at the 44th National Collegiate Security Conference.

​Meanwhile for Ben Lutz '17, it was 1979 and he was a committee member for the Inter-Services Agency of Pakistan, working to protect Pakistan from war with India while reacting to the recent Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. 

Ben Lutz, right, plays a role in the Pakistani government during a model crisis at the at the 44th National Collegiate Security Conference.

​Those were just two of the scenarios that eight Elon students immersed themselves in along with college and university students from around the country at the 44th National Collegiate Security Conference. Hosted by the Georgetown International Relations Association, the Model United Nations conference held Oct. 27-30 in Washington D.C. has for more than four decades provide a forum for students to debate the world's most serious crises. 

The conference drew more than 500 students to Bethesda, Maryland, for four days of interaction, collaboration and debate around crises draw from both history and fiction. For instance, Matt Kimball '18 played a role in the Chinese National Space Administration which in collaboration with other delegates worked to create a massive space laser to defend space against Russian incursion. 

The group from Elon also included Nick Rhyne '17, Mike Rossi '17, Spencer Wagner '18, Dani Khoury '18 and Maddie Reynolds '19, who won the Outstanding Delegate Award for her work orchestrating a plot to overthrown the government of Nigeria alongside Boko Haram. The Elon delegates were joined at the conference by Betty Morgan, associate professor of political science and policy studies and department chair, who also serves as the director of Elon's International Fellows Program. 

Owen Covington,
11/4/2016 8:20 AM