March 19, 1999
MEDIA CONTACT: Kirsten Birkeland, 360/546-9602,
        VANCOUVER, Wash. -- Shaping world policy isn't on the agenda of most college students, but the three Washington State University Vancouver students travelling to England this month are thinking of nothing else -- even if it is just a simulation.
        The students will represent WSU -- one of only 18 U.S. universities attending -- at the World Model United Nations (MUN) Conference March 27-31 in Cambridge, England.
        Political science students Ryan Hunt and Sarah Heldman and nursing student Rico Selga will travel with MUN advisor Nancy Youlden to Cambridge on March 24.
        Billed as one of the most authentic United Nations simulations in the world, World MUN attracts nearly 300 delegates from more than 70 countries around the world. Delegates negotiate issues ranging from anti-terrorism to climate control, attending as representatives of a country whose interests they must protect and pursue as they strive to hammer out agreements in their committee.
        WSU Vancouver, which will represent the Czech Republic, has earned MUN credentials competing in a variety of regional and nation M.U.N. conferences. It is the only university in the Pacific Northwest with sufficient credentials to participate.
        "The idea is that you take on the identity of a country and argue everything from human rights to nuclear policy on the world-wide political battlefield," says Youlden, noting that the students have prepared extensively for the conference by researching international publications, as well as United Nations documents and resolutions. The students will synthesize their research into a policy statement to present at the conference, where the issues will be debated and argued until an agreeable resolution can be adopted.
        To pay for the trip, Youlden and the students conducted fundraising activities, solicited private donations, and secured student and activity fees to cover the majority of the cost for airfare, registration and lodging. A portion of the costs will be paid by the participants themselves.
        Created at Harvard University in 1991, World MUN is a simulation of multilateral diplomacy which brings together students and diplomats from throughout the world to debate pressing global issues. The first World MUN conference was held in Poland in 1992.
        WSU Vancouver provides junior-, senior- and graduate-level courses to more than 1,500 students on its 351-acre campus seven miles north of the Vancouver-Portland metropolitan area.

Editor's Note: Nancy Youlden can be reached directly until March 24 at 360/546-9571 or


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