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NMSU Model United Nations team to host banquet fundraiser March 7

New Mexico State University's Model United Nations team will host its 6th annual fundraising banquet, Night at the United Nations, Friday, March 7, on the NMSU campus. The event will begin with a talk at 5:30 p.m. at the Health and Social Services Auditorium and continue with a reception featuring hors d'oeuvres and cocktails at 7:30 p.m. at the Danny Villanueva Victory Club inside the Stan Fulton Athletics Center.

NMSU's Model United Nations team members, joined by their Japanese partners, pose with their 2013 Distinguished Delegation award in the courtyard of the United Nations Building in New York City. (Photo courtesy of the NMSU Model U.N. Team)

The purpose of the event is to raise money for members to attend the National Model United Nations conference held April 13-17 in New York City and also promote the group to the community. Model U.N. is an academic simulation intended to educate students on effective communication and multilateral diplomacy. The program is supported by academic coursework organized by the Department of Government in the College of Arts and Sciences.

"Understanding global similarities between situations is important and this is a fun way for community members to learn about global issues while seeing how they relate to local ones," said Lydia Hammond, president of NMSU's Model U.N. and graduate student.

This year's guest speaker is Jorge Bustamante, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights of migrants from 2005 to 2011 and sociology professor at the University of Notre Dame. Bustamante was also founder and first president of El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, a prestigious institution for border studies. He will discuss immigration issues, drawing comparisons between Morocco and Mexico.

"Dr. Bustamante is well equipped with an extensive background on topics very much relevant to our preparatory work," said Theadora Trejo, NMSU Model U.N. vice president of operations. "I am excited to hear his expertise on immigration in light of his experience."

At the national conference, teams are given three issues to study and debate against other countries. They are also responsible for forming alliances with other teams, and occasionally have to deal with crisis situations.

Last year NMSU's team partnered with the National Japanese Model U.N. Team to represent Argentina. NMSU students took home the 2013 Distinguished Delegation award, four individual position paper awards and four outstanding delegate awards.

"The program has helped me grow as a leader, researcher and writer, which I think are all really important skills to have when thinking about entering the work place," Hammond said. "This team and program have given me life skills I will be able to use once I leave NMSU."

"One of the biggest things I've come to take away from Model United Nations is the skill of being in a multitasking, engaging, high pressure political environment where you must be accountable for what you represent," Trejo added. "Even though it's a simulation, Model U.N. knows how to put the pressure on."

There is no cost to attend Bustamante's presentation. Tickets for the reception are $40 for non-students and $15 for students, and can be purchased at https://shopcart.nmsu.edu/shop/govt.

For more information visit http://mun.nmsu.edu