Gannon University’s Model United Nations is facing many changes after operating for over 60 years. Changes are being spearheaded by the club’s secretary general, sophomore public services and global affairs major Randall Sutter.
The club has also taken on two new advisers to replace associate professor in the political science program Anjali Sahay, Ph.D., since she now fills the spot of Model United Nations program director. Timothy Andrew Caswell, Ph.D., an associate professor in the psychology department, and Alexandra Holbrook, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the history department, are the current advisers.
Both advisers have had limited experience with Model United Nations, but Sutter said he isn’t concerned. Just the opposite actually.
“They are a great addition to the team and bring a vibrant new perspective to the table that has enabled us to better organize the conference this year,” he said. “I’m really excited about what the club can accomplish with their addition to the team.”
Ammar Krso, a sophomore biology pre-medicine major and the club’s assistant secretary general, agrees with Sutter about this change.
The advisers will help “with the club’s activities and just management in general, which we hope will make things run much more smoothly than the past,” Krso said.
Alongside the changes in positions of power, there will also be changes in how the conference is run.
A lot of these changes are focused on reinvigorating the conference Gannon holds every November and bringing new life to it.
“As one of the oldest Model United Nations in the world, we got in the habit of running our simulation the same way,” Sutter said. “Unfortunately, the conference got stale.” 25 Model United Nations conferences and helping to run six conferences, Sutter came up with a few ideas, using the previous conferences as inspiration. To change it and improve it, several new committees are being added to the conference.
“I’m trying to reinvigorate with some new committees such as an Arab League focusing on the Israeli-Palestine issue,” Sutter said. “My personal brainchild, a Nuremburg Trial, establishes a crime against humanity before the actual trial.”
There will also be more training for members of the club before they are expected to participate in running the conference, Krso said.
“This will help make the conference the best it’s ever been,” he said.
This November’s conference will mark a turning point in the club’s history. Aside from the conference, all the changes being made are a chance for the club to redefine itself.
“This is really an opportunity for the club to diversify itself, as well as make it more interesting for not only our own staff but the attending delegates as well,” Sutter said.
Looking into the future, Sutter said he only sees improvement. He said he is hoping to see the club grow.
In conjunction with a growing social media presence provided by the club’s social media coordinator, Kyla McNulty, the club can also do a lot for its members.
“It also has very meaningful applications to real life,” Krso said. “Not only does it force you to participate and grow your public speaking skills, but you are reflecting on real-world scenarios that are shaping the world around us.
Once the conference in November is done, there is more in store for the club.
Weekly meetings will continue, and the club will work toward its other goals.
“I’m really looking forward to what the future holds,” Sutter said.
“Once the conference is more underway and the club more established, it’ll open up more travel options. That’s in the near future.”