Seven Brigham Young University students competed among the 27 delegates at a Model European Union competition held Feb. 22-23 at the University of Washington. The simulation dealt with the revision of the failed Constitutional Treaty as well as environmental post-Kyoto reforms.
BYU’s delegates represented Great Britain: Andrew Walker, a pre-management major who received one of the four “Outstanding” awards, and Jenna Horrocks, political science; Belgium: Dina El Mahy and Steven Haymore, both political science; Estonia: Nathaniel Langley. political science, and Tara Westover. history; and Germany: David Drake, European and French studies.
Drake also participated in the German presidency, who served as moderators and judges during the competition in addition to representing Germany’s specific interests.
Wade Jacoby, BYU faculty member and CSE director, selects students for the team from European studies courses based on their academic achievement as well as experience in or aptitude for debate or other simulations, such as Model United Nations.
Students prepare for the competition by attending lectures and receiving special briefings on their countries’ negotiation strategies, policy positions and issues. All participants were required to create an outline of their country’s policies, interests and goals, said Jacoby.
The West Coast Model European Union conference was created in 2005 by the Center for Western European Studies at the University of Washington, in partnership with Scripps College and BYU’s Center for the Study of Europe, part of the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies.
The experience affords an opportunity for students to simulate and in-depth experience of the complex workings of the European Union. As a co-sponsor, BYU students serve as both committee participants as well as part of the leadership, called the “presidency.”
BYU’s delegations have received the highest recognition all four years. Students receive financial support from the Kennedy Center and CSE to cover program costs for participation.
“The experience is another way to understand the processes, issues, and implications of the European Union. It adds to the classroom experience, making policy and politics come alive,” said Jacoby.
The European Union matters greatly to the state of Utah since its 27 member countries are, by far, the largest foreign investors in the state. During a recent visit to Utah, John Bruton, EU Ambassador to the United States and the former Prime Minister of Ireland, noted that almost 90 percent of all foreign direct investment in Utah comes from the EU, while Utah’s trade with Europe is about three times as large as its trade with all of Asia.
The Center for the Study of Europe is a focal point for teaching, research and outreach at BYU. It was created in 2003 through a Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
For more information, see europe.byu.edu.
Writer: David Luker