OBU Students Compete in Arab League Simulation

“You have to compromise and really learn to work with others, frequently even with people you wouldn’t normally associate with.”

That statement by Oklahoma Baptist University senior Glenn Tappert, an international business major from Montpellier, France, is not an assessment of dormitory life, but a reflection on participation in the Model Arab League competition.

For 14 years, OBU has participated in the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations’ Model Arab League, allowing students the opportunity to interact with other internationals and tackle significant issues in an academic setting.

Earlier this month, 14 OBU students traveled to the University of North Texas to participate in a regional model Arab League, representing Iraq and Palestine.

The Model Arab League is a leadership program designed to help students learn to think on their feet as they pose as Arab diplomats, struggling through the world’s problems and trying to reach a policy consensus. Students are given a drafted agenda which becomes the basis of their research for a two-page policy statement. The statements are then discussed with their fellow committee members.

“The entire point of this simulation is to pass a resolution that addresses various issues in the Middle East,” said Tappert, who has attended four Arab League Simulations including a national simulation in Washington D.C.

Casey Thompson, sophomore political science major from Albuquerque, N.M., was named outstanding delegate in the joint defense council. Tyler Douse, sophomore political science major, from Pryor, Okla.; and Danae VanSickle, junior political science major from Greenwood, Mo.; received honorable mention recognition for their work in the social affairs council.

Mirela Azevedo, sophomore international business major from Lisbon, Portugal, served as head delegate for the Iraqi delegation. Her committee included Joel Dixon, sophomore general studies major from Madrid, Spain; Douse; Abigail Jeffers, sophomore political science major from Tulsa, Okla.; Christopher Lind, freshman political science major from Humble, Texas; Jordan Marcatos, sophomore political science major from Choctaw, Okla.; and VanSickle.

Tappert was the head delegate for the Palestine delegation. Serving with Tappert were Coy Buckley, junior international business major from Wellston, Okla.; Russ Henderson, voice education major from Wilberton, Okla.; Shelley Levisay, senior music education and political science major from Shawnee, Okla.; Curtis Schube, senior political science and history major from Willis, Texas; and Casey Stull, philosophy major from Harrison, Ark.

“The simulation is a wonderful opportunity for students to find themselves in real world situations,” said Dr. Glenn Sanders, OBU professor of history. “It’s also an opportunity for them to build good oral argument skills. Students involved learn how to write memos and how to perform precise web-based research, but one of the primary benefits is that they get to meet and interact with international students.”

“My favorite part of the simulation was interacting with people outside of the committee meetings,” said Tappert. “People that go tend to have a wide range of interests and when they get together in a situation where debate and discussion are encouraged there are always interesting conversations.”