AU students attend Model United Nations conference at University of Toronto

NAMUN Conference

Members of the AU community attended the North American Model United Nations at the University of Toronto. Left to Right: Jamal Lawson ’15, Steven Gates ’15, Dulce Heelan ’14, Richard Artz MS ’14, Ryan Shaner ’16 and Assistant Professor of Business Jack Harrington.

Five Aurora University students recently served with peers from around the world during the North American Model United Nations (NAMUN) at the University of Toronto in Canada. The students attended the conference as members of the Aurora University Global Leadership Organization (GLO), a campus-wide student group that helps educate and develop leadership capabilities through networking and volunteer projects. The NAMUN is the oldest university-level Model United Nations Conference in Canada, with its inaugural session taking place in 1985. In the past few years alone, NAMUN has hosted more than 50 colleges from more than 20 different countries.

At this year’s conference, AU was one of 29 universities represented. “This was the first year that students from Aurora University participated, and it was a wonderful experience,” said Jamal Lawson, a junior business administration major who represented Israel in the United Nations Environment Programme. “We had the opportunity to work with others and solve problems as a team.”

The conference serves as a forum in which students can meet and debate about issues facing the world, including human rights and economic and social progress. Throughout the four-day event, the student delegates were assigned to various UN committees, including disarmament, health, environment and illicit substances. They worked to research and formulate political positions based on the actual policies of the country they represented.

“We learned to speak on our feet and step out of our comfort zone,” said senior health science major Dulce Heelan who represented Côte D’Ivoire in the World Health Organization. “We had to work within the restrictions of our countries and organizations and collaborate to get policies passed. It was a difficult process, but also a rewarding one.”

GLO faculty advisor Jack Harrington also attended the conference to support AU’s student delegates. “The conference provided our students with the opportunity to practice discipline, critical thinking, and collaboration and work with others who may not share their views,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for students from all majors.”

To learn more about the Global Leadership Organization, visit here.