April 30, 2010
Oklahoma Baptist University students recently competed in the Southwest Regional Model Arab League simulation at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. OBU student Brian Nistler, a senior anthropology major from Amarillo, Texas, received the outstanding delegate award for the Palestinian Affairs Council.
The OBU group represented Palestine in this year's competition. Bison Hill students have participated in the simulation for more than 20 years. The students competed against 16 other Model Arab League programs from other universities.
To prepare for the simulation, students reviewed information about the region and drafted resolutions for the various committees.
"This experience really allows me and the other delegates to put into practice what we learn," Nistler said. "It is truly the best measure for what we have learned."
Ethan Groff, a sophomore from Henryetta, Okla., and Joel Hicks, a senior from Webbers Falls, Okla., received honorable mention awards for representation of Palestine in the Council on Political and Social Affairs.
Meranda Mills, a junior from Shawnee, represented the Joint Defense. The delegation received an overall honorable mention award, placing the group in the top three delegations among the 16 participating in the simulation.
"The team and the experience could not have been what it was without the guidance of Dr. Glenn Sanders, whose unflagging support served as a reminder of the dedication that the faculty of OBU brings to the classroom, events and the university at large," Groff said.
Sanders, OBU professor of history and chair of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences, serves as the faculty sponsor of OBU's Model Arab League.
The Model Arab League is a leadership program designed to help students learn to think quickly as they pose as Arab diplomats struggling through the world's problems and trying to reach a policy consensus. Students receive a drafted agenda which becomes the basis of their research for a two-page policy statement. The statements are discussed with their fellow committee members.
Model Arab League is part of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. According to the NCOUSAR Web site, "Founded in 1983, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations is an American non-profit, non-governmental, educational organization dedicated to improving American knowledge and understanding of the Arab world."