MUN ADVISOR AND PRESIDENT (SHERRY LUCAS/LARIAT STAFF)
Serving as a model for students to address global issues, diplomacy, international relations and world politics among many other international issues, the Model United Nations has been a popular club at Saddleback College and one that has had a strong following for many years.
The club met Friday in the Business and General Studies Building to enact the process of selecting club officials for the year.
This was only the second meeting for the club. The late start is due to an extensive reorganization process mandated by the Associated Student Government. All clubs, due to the ongoing economic situation and the implementation of the new process whereby students initiate the club as opposed to faculty advisors, are going through this.
MUN is a good experience for students to understand politics and how the system works in different countries.
“They can be involved on a global basis, not just national,” said Lee Haggerty, political science instructor and advisor to MUN.
Haggerty put the question out to his students in his political science classes, asking if anyone was interested in taking the lead of the club.
Sam Williams, 18, political science major, took the initiative and became a leader according to Haggerty of the interim president who was officially elected for the position.
Williams opened the meeting on the importance of understanding different political ideology, as they will be representing different countries in the conferences they will be attending.
He offered that he is a classic Liberal whose idol in history is Voltaire and just as some were solid on their political stance, some were equally unsure, but it was clear that the question posed would result in each individuals understanding of their own political thoughts, as well as the subject in general, by being involved in the organization.
“I really enjoy learning current issues,” said Natasha Pearson, 18, global studies. “It’s more hands on, in that you get to represent some country.”
Pearson, who was elected vice president, was in MUN during her high school years at Rancho Santa Margarita high school, and has attended over 30 conferences while being involved in the program. She is excited about her position as vice president.
Another position on the ballot was that of treasurer, which went to Farzad Najafi, 31, Chemical Engineering.
“I enjoy debating,” said Najafi. “I would like to challenge anyone, on any issue.”
Najafi has a strong opinion of the organization and said it is a learning process to be aware of, and not just where you live, but around the country.
Haggerty has known this since starting the program at Saddleback many years ago and says it is good that schools offer organizations such as MUN and are available to students so they have the theoretical knowledge, as well as practical applications.
“We take them to New York, Berkeley, to as many competitions as we can afford to go to,” Haggerty said. “To see these students walk into the United Nations in New York City, just that.”
Haggerty has been teaching full time since 1985 and was originally a math and engineering major but was miserable in it. He knew he enjoyed working with people and wanted to do something towards that. He touched on being a lawyer to help people, but after realizing that was not the direction he wanted to go, he became a college instructor teaching political science and loves it.
Meetings will be held Fridays at noon in BGS 345 for information on joining Model United Nations contact Sam Williams via email at Doms1337@gmail.com.
MUN CLUB MEMBERS (SHERRY LUCAS/LARIAT STAFF)