BGSU students win awards at Model European Union

BOWLING GREEN, O.–Bowling Green State University students were exceptionally successful recently at the Model European Union (EU) simulation, hosted annually by the University of Pittsburgh’s European Union Center of Excellence.  During the two-day simulation, four BGSU undergraduate student teams — representing Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Poland — had to discuss and negotiate various EU policy issues with 23 other student country-teams.

BGSU came home with the top award and an honorable mention for its efforts. This is only the third year BGSU has participated. The team began with one student in 2009, grew to six in 2010 and now has eight members.

This year’s Model EU performance was observed and judged by a panel of professors from the participating universities as well as an official representative of the EU’s diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C. Students were judged on their knowledge of the specific issues, their accurate representation of their country’s interests and their negotiating skills.

Political science majors Tim Taft and Christopher van Newhouse, of Austintown and Swanton, respectively, won a Top Award for their representation of Poland. Emily Ancinec, a political science major from Saline, Mich., and Jessica Hanna, a journalism major from Olmsted Falls, won an Honorable Mention Award for their performance in representing Germany. The other two teams represented Sweden (Amanda Muego, a political science major from Sandusky; and Andrew Reed, a history major from Walbridge) and the Netherlands (political science majors Julia Swensen, from Miamisburg, and Benjamin Jasinski, from Wellington).

The BGSU teams competed against teams from several universities, among others the University of Pittsburgh, Kent State, John Carroll University and Washington & Jefferson College.
 
Dr. Stefan Fritsch, an assistant professor of political science, helped the students prepare for the simulation and accompanied them to Pittsburgh. Preparations began after the winter break. In weekly meetings with Fritsch, students discussed the political system of the European Union as well as major policy areas that the EU and its member states have to deal with. “The challenge for the students was to figure out how ‘their’ country saw things and develop strategies that would help them realize their goals, while also keeping the larger European context in mind. The other judges and I were impressed by BGSU students’ strong performances,” Fritsch said.

According to Fritsch, European politics and economics have real-world implications here in Ohio, considering that the EU is Ohio’s second largest foreign trade partner behind Canada. Ohio’s exports to the EU amounted to $6.6 billion in 2009 and European investments in Ohio support roughly 116,000 jobs. 

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(Posted March 02, 2011 )