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Students host NCSC Conference
More than 400 college students converged in the District this past weekend to take part in the 30th annual National Collegiate Security Council Conference, a Model United Nations conference run solely by Georgetown undergraduates.
NCSC is a collegiate organization composed of mostly East Coast and Canadian schools which converge to discuss and debate international and historical issues in a crisis-style format. Thirty-six universitites participated in last weekend’s coference.
Georgetown’s NCSC conference is the oldest Model UN competition in the country, said Pat Ventrell (SFS ‘03), senior member of the Georgetown International Relations Club.
Ventrell stressed the importance of students’ involvement in the competitive organization. “We are unique in that full-time students are coordinating this over-400-person event, and every year the conference is well prepared and conducted professionally,” he said.
Approximately 85 Georgetown undergraduates coordinated this year’s event, overseeing the administrative duties and judging the committee debates.
During the four-day conference, held from Oct. 17-20 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel, students participated in mock crisis simulations and international courts created to mirror historical issues and current events.
Georgetown students had the opportunity to interact with students from schools around the country.
“It’s great to take a weekend and get off campus,” said Georgetown’s NCSC Secretary General Toni Gidwani (SFS ‘04). “It’s a great way to get outside of Healy Gates and meet people.”
The British Broacasting Corporation attended last weekend’s conference to film a portion of the committee debates on Iraq. The filming was part of a documentary that the BBC is planning on the topic, according to Gidwani.
Several Georgetown professors, including Professors Anthony Arendt, Christopher Joyner and Robert Sutter, addressed student delegates on current international issues. The Georgetown International Relations Club also organized events for delegates at Chevy’s Fresh Mexican Restaurant, Club Insomnia and Polly Esther’s.
The Georgetown staff provided a distinctive touch to this particular NCSC conference, said Gidwani.
Georgetown’s specialty in international affairs allows students to take classes related to topics discussed at the NCSC conference, said Gidwani.
At the Georgetown NCSC Conference last weekend, there were committees representing 14 different institutions, including the United States National Security Council, the Disarmarment and National Security Committee and the International Court of Justice.
In each committee, student delegates from various schools were presented with an issue or problem, such as a debate over war criminals in the International Court of Justice committee. The schools’ delegates represented justices from different countries and debated the issue and proposed solutions.
“The conferences put students in situations and provide great perspective on why decisions do and do not get made in these situations,” Gidwani said.
The Georgetown students who coordinated this year’s event researched the various topics and prepared background reports detailing the issues confronted by each specific committee. Delegates from other universities used these reports to familiarize themselves with the issues that will be discussed in their committee.
Georgetown student staffers not only guided the groups’ discussions but also presented certain crisis situations that could theoretically arise, including situations such as the Cuban Missile Crisis. The committee then assessed this new crisis and worked towards a resolution.
In the spring, Georgetown will host the North American Invitational Model United Nations Conference. Approximately 2000 high school students will engage in the same crisis-style debates over international issues.
Gidwani encouraged Georgetown students interested in Model UN to get involved.
“We want people who are interested in refugees, the environment, non-proliferation, anything,” Gidwani said.