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Students participate in model simulation of the Organization of American States

imageModel for the Organization of American States (OAS)
04/22/13 -  

Ten Queens undergrads traveled to Washington, D.C. in April to participate in the Model for the Organization of American States (OAS). The trip was part of POLS 299, a political science class that studies international organizations and typically participates in a model exercise each year.

The simulation mirrored the work of the general assembly of the OAS, a hemispheric body that brings together the democratically elected leaders of the Americas to discuss issues around security, human rights, and development.

Through role-playing, students practiced their skills in diplomacy, cooperation, and negotiation as representatives of the various member states in the OAS. Each university participating in the exercise is assigned a member state to represent.

This year Queens played the role of Argentina. Students were required to become familiar with current political and social issues in Argentina to accurately model the persona and opinions of an authentic Argentine.

The model itself is a testament to the benefits of a hands-on experience. Students gained practical knowledge in public speaking and debate in addition to having the opportunity to meet and share experiences with fellow students from across the hemisphere.

Though the class is part of the Political Science curriculum, the participants in this year's model came from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Sociology major Rae Manyika '13 said "Having never taken a political science course, I was a bit anxious to participate in the model. It turned out to be a great way to learn about international relations and how to hold a politically-based discussion or debate. I will be able to apply what I learned to my future career in the international health field."

In addition to participation in the simulation, the group attended meetings with various companies and organizations around D.C. They toured the new NPR headquarters, met with legislative assistants at the U.S. House of Representatives, discussed trade with agents from the Department of Commerce, and visited the World Bank.

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