BYU students win six awards at Model European Union competition

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With primary season heating up, most students  have spent their political time and energy focusing on American politics. However, a handful of BYU students used their political energy and gave it to European politics for the Model European Union competition at the University of Washington.

Lora Cook, administrative director for the center for the study of Europe, was one of the faculty advisers for Model European Union.

“The faculty advisers are the judges,” she said. “A lot of the other schools had this as a class, but our students were doing it on pure motivation. We were only 10 percent of the competition, but we got 60 percent of the awards.”

BYU won four awards for its ministers of agriculture and two for the heads of government.

Romy Franks, a sophomore majoring in European studies, from Provo, got involved with Model European Union because of its application to her major.

“You see the intricacies you wouldn’t see in a classroom,” Franks said. “With our political culture, we’re used to a very polarized institutional setting, but the European Union has a very united commitment to working together.”

Franks also enjoyed working with others to reach a common goal.

“The thing that made it enjoyable was you saw the beauty of interacting with other people and how you can work through your ideas with someone else,” she said. “Half the fun was realizing you’d made the progress you wanted to.”

Brandall Nelson, a senior from South Jordan majoring in both political science and Portuguese, got involved with Model European Union because of his love for politics.

“I’ve always been interested in European politics,” he said. “It was fun.”

Nelson’s role in the European Union was to be the minister of agriculture for Italy. In the discussions, Nelson and other ministers of agriculture had to focus on reforming Europe’s  agricultural policies.

“I talked a lot about our [Italy’s] agricultural development and things like that,” he said. “I had to represent my country’s interests even if they conflicted with other BYU students’ interests.”

Dallin Shaner, a pre-management major from Tokyo, represented Bulgaria and had to work with others to amend the Lisbon Treaty and establish a stable economic structure.

“I learned that policy making matters,” he said. “It isn’t easy, but it is something we have to do carefully because it dictates the rules we live by.”

Shaner discussed the layout of the conference.

“We were judged on the basis of if we were really acting like and representing our country well, preparation and negotiation,” he said. “It was less of a political dog fight and more of a political potluck.”

Any students interested in participating in next year’s Model European Union should email .

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