Political science students bring home trophy in Model European Union competition

CATEGORIES: News, Notable, Students
A group of students pose, several with plaques.

The traveling trophy for best delegation at the Midwest Model European Union (MMEU) has returned to Iowa State University.

Three teams from Iowa State representing Germany, Estonia and Luxembourg traveled to Bloomington, Ind. to play the roles of prime ministers and presidents, ambassadors and commissioners, ministers and diplomats in the European Union Council and its ministries. The students spent three days debating policy, resolving disputes and charting the course of European integration as part of a hands-on simulation designed to help college and university students learn about the workings of the European Union.

“I think one of the best ways to learn about politics is to participate,” said Jacob Wilson, graduate student in political science and coach for the teams. “The contest also helps broaden your views because you have to take on the persona of a real person and you may not agree with their views.”

MMEU is attended by over 160 students each year from 37 different colleges and universities. This annual competition began in 1993 and is the second oldest of its kind in North America. Students work on a seven-person team, each representing one of the 28 European Union member states.

This year’s German team won first place as the best overall delegation. Team members were: Kathryn Walker (’19 political science), Joseph Tompulis (’18 history), Martha Broadnax (’20 political science), Steven Valentino (’18 political science), John Kitten (’18 political science), Madeline Baker (’19 political science) and Dylan Meyer (’19 political science).

Walker, who also served as a coach for the teams, said after studying abroad last semester it was especially meaningful to associate her personal experience with the simulation.

“It’s great to be able to apply my major outside of the classroom,” she said.

Second place for best overall delegation went to the Estonian team, whose members included: Jacob Wilson, graduate student in political science, Alexander Sandeen (’19 political science), Jessica Holtkamp (’19 political science), Isaac Barrash (’18 political science), Rizal Ucok (’18 political science), Samantha Fuller (’18 political science) and Emily Scholz (’20 elementary education).

The Luxembourg team included members: Brandon Wright (’18 political science), Araceli Lopez-Valdivia (’19 political science), Dexter Nash (’18 linguistics), Lucy Dougherty (’19 economics), Cole Schroder (’18 political science), Collin Schohn (’18 geology) and Robert Bingham (’19 political science).

Several students also won individual awards for the roles they portrayed. Valentino was voted best Finance Minister, Baker was voted best Environmental Minister, Kitten was voted best Justice and Home Affairs Minister and Meyer was voted best Director General.

Two students also took on extra roles during the event. Nash volunteered to serve as the president of the Commission during the event and Bingham volunteered to serve as the president of the Directorate General.