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Intellect

BYU hosts inaugural Model EU for secondary schools

Center for the Study of Europe launches standalone competition

BYU’s Model European Union (MEU) program, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Europe (CSE), hosted its first MEU Standalone Competition for middle and high schools throughout Utah on campus April 4.

Recognition was awarded for the first-, second-, and third-place delegations, as well as a peers’ choice and the best position paper. First place in the advanced committee went to Caden Musselman of Mountain Crest High, first place in intermediate was Tyler Dial and JP Lefgren of Orem High School, first place delegates for the beginning committee were Jonathan Haroldsen and Paige Shipman of Herriman High.

Nearly three times as many students participated in this Standalone Competition than in the original MEU committee, held in conjunction with the BYU Model United Nations (MUN) competition last fall. Due to this increase in demand, the competition was expanded to include different committees (beginning, intermediate and advanced levels).

The day-long competition was divided into three challenging sessions, run by presidency teams comprised of BYU’s collegiate Model EU members. These sessions discussed resolutions and possible policies for a nuclear energy and the environment, banking union and migration. Before and after the negotiations, participants were privileged to hear from His Excellency Josip Joško Paro, Croatian ambassador to the United States, and Sarah Lambert, a visiting EU fellow at the Colorado European Union Center for Excellence.

The stakes were high at this competition, as the top delegates from each committee were awarded scholarships toward attending an inaugural trip to visit the 'EU' in Washington, D.C., in June. This new CSE outreach program will include visits to the various European embassies, the EU delegation to the United States, the U.S. Treasury, the Library of Congress, the National Mall and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. All of these excursions and more activities have been tailored with a European emphasis, allowing students to learn about the significance of the monument or event and its ties to Europe and European history.

The MEU Program has seen incredible growth over the past year. The collegiate MEU originated at BYU as a competitive team in 2005, designed to simulate a European Council Summit where students play the roles of EU member state delegations, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the European Parliament under the direction of the rotating Council Presidency. The program has since expanded its outreach and now includes a statewide competition, training for students and teachers and various institutes and seminars—in Utah, the United States and in Europe. CSE’s MEU program has been funded in part by a prestigious Getting to Know Europe grant, awarded to CSE by the EU Delegation to the United States.

The successful expansion of BYU’s MEU program speaks favorably of CSE’s efforts to extend its outreach and invest in the learning and development of teachers and students across Utah. Through MEU, CSE has provided lectures, trainings, competitions, assemblies, town hall meetings and various other forms of community involvement to assist schools and the greater Utah community in learning more about the European Union.

With several first-time experiences scheduled for MEU, 2014 should prove to be a pioneering year for positively increasing the understanding of the EU in Utah’s classrooms and communities.

The Standalone Competition was co-sponsored by the Wheatley Institution and the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies. 

Students and teachers interested in participating in BYU’s Model EU program—whether collegiately or at a secondary school level—should direct their inquiries to byu.meu@gmail.com.

Writer: Romy Franks

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