Two Brigham Young University students received awards at the Ninth Annual Model European Union conference held at the University of Washington’s European Union Center of Excellence Feb. 22-23.
Skye Herrick, an international relations major, received the Outstanding Head of Government award for representing Belgium in the competition, and an honorable mention was awarded to Matthew Stone, a history major, who represented Bulgaria as a Minister of Interior in the Cohesion Policy Reform discussion.
“The best part of Model EU was working with a coalition of six other students from BYU and other universities to completely dominate the discussion,” said Skye. “From the opening argument on Saturday morning, our proposal was the only one being discussed and I feel honored that I was recognized as one part of a great team.”
Added Stone, “One of the things I love about simulations is how well-rounded you have to be. You can’t just rely on being smart, and you can’t just rely on your people skills. You have to balance these skills and more if you want to be successful.”
The other four BYU team members included Rebecca Wiseman, international relations, who represented Belgium as a Minister of Interior; Macie Bayer, sociology, who represented Romania as a Minister of Interior; Carson Monson, European studies, who represented Bulgaria as the Head of Government; and Jeff Suppes, economics, who represented Romania as the Head of Government.
Romy Franks, a European studies and German double major, served as the student advisor for the program. Franks competed and won an award last year in the competition where she represented Austria as a Head of Government.
“The MEU experience this time around was fulfilling for me in an entirely new way,” she said. “It is very gratifying helping students learn to implement the history, diplomacy mechanisms and policies in discussions you’re passionate about. This team not only worked hard to do that, but did so by working together, and that’s something to be proud of.”
The six-student delegation from BYU was sponsored by the Center for the Study of Europe and David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies and was directed by Lora Anderson Cook, administrative director of CSE and advisor to the MEU team.
“Once again, I was impressed by the strength of the BYU students. They were so well prepared, and they dominated the discussion in both sessions,” said Cook.
Throughout the competition, the faculty advisors and student competitors from other schools commented on the positive reputation BYU students have and that they are the school to worry about in the competition.
"It was a wonderful compliment, and it rang true, although the competition quality was overwhelmingly high across the board this year,” said Cook.
The conference provided a setting for more than 60 undergraduate students participating from 15 universities in the U.S. and Canada to understand the workings of the European Union.
There were two simultaneous competitions: one involved Heads of Government from the 27 EU member states as well as representatives of the Irish Presidency, EU Commission and European Central Bank; the other involved Ministers of Interior with representatives from the same groups as well as the European Parliament.
The Heads of Government discussed issues relating to the Financial Union and the Ministers of Interior discussed Cohesion Policy Reform.
BYU students who are interested in participating in the 2014 MEU competition should e-mail CSE@byu.edu. Students enroll in a three-credit-hour Model EU Class during winter semester, where they spend the first block preparing for the collegiate competition and the second half preparing a high-school-level MEU competition through teacher training and other preparatory tasks.
For more information, contact Lee Simons, (801) 422-2652, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Writer: Lora Cook