(L-R) KPU MUN team - Saed Abu-Haltam, Nubwa Wathanafa, Charlene Wong (Secretary-General for the 2013 World MUN), Kurt Renvall, and Sana Sohel
For immediate release
April 4, 2013
KPU’s Model United Nations team wins diplomacy award at Harvard World MUN Australia
(Metro Vancouver, BC) – Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) bachelor of arts students, Kurt Renvall, Sana Sohel, Nubwa Wathanafa and Saed Abu-Haltam, represented their university at the World Model United Nations Conference (WorldMUN) from March 16-22, 2013, in Melbourne, Australia. As the only university in attendance from Western Canada and one of five universities from across Canada, the KPU team was thrilled to be the only Canadian delegation to receive a diplomacy award.
Referred to as “WorldMUN” by conference delegates, participants are grouped into teams that represent a selected country in debate and committees in order to draft policies, agreements and resolutions that grapple with current global issues such as the exploitation of migrant workers and foreign mining interests. The KPU students represented Afghanistan.
“As a political science student you’re in your element, you’re a fish in water,” said Renvall. Haltam added, “Especially as a sociology student, you can apply it [the experience], and connect what you’ve learned to the real world. It makes all your classes more relevant. MUN makes students aware of both current events and history.”
The team attended social events in the evenings to introduce themselves to the organizing chairs and to break the ice with the students from larger delegations. The team also prepared each night until at least 3:00 am to be ready for the academic demands and fierce competition each day. At the closing ceremonies, Renvall and Haltam were acknowledged among their 2000 peers as they accepted one of only 15 diplomacy awards of behalf of their KPU team.
“It was good marketing for KPU and opened a lot of eyes to our school. It made me proud to be from KPU,” said Haltam. “I had the opportunity to tell lots of students about our programs, small class sizes, and international studies.”
The KPU MUN team felt that WorldMUN really pushed them to not only think about current world issues but to also consider world history and how that shapes our current society. “It was very worth it,” said Sohel.
The 2013 WorldMUN conference hosted over 2000 delegates from universities in 65 countries and, for the first time, received an official endorsement by the United Nations through its Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
The students have plans to host their second annual KPU Model UN Conference in early spring, 2014.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region for 30 years, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts, science, design, health, trades and technology, apprenticeships, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 18,000 students annually have a choice from over 200 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates and citations.
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Director, Student Engagement
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