University of Lynchburg students were honored with elections and awards at the 2016 Mid-Atlantic European Union Simulation last week. While representing the United Kingdom and a small governmental delegation from Ireland, the students won the respect of their peers as well as conference organizers.
The annual conference puts college students in the shoes of members of the European Parliament as they debate issues and pass mock legislation. The experience requires skills in diplomacy as well as public speaking. Twelve colleges and universities were represented by about 150 students.
Given the controversial issues involving Great Britain and its relationship with other European countries, the conference put LC students in the spotlight. “In several days of heated deliberations and negotiations, delegates debated and amended a resolution regarding EU’s handling of the current migrant crisis as well as the ramifications of Great Britain’s exit from the EU,” said Dr. Marek Payerhin, a professor of international relations and political science.
LC students took active roles in discussing the issues addressed in the simulation. Dr. Payerhin noted that the list of speakers presenting arguments about one proposal included five LC students out of nine total speakers. Nash Bilisoly ’19, Christopher Camarca ’17, Kayla Fuqua ’17, Keisha Liddell ’17, and Brandon Perkins ’19 were each elected as chairs or vice chairs of all party groups they joined.
The British government was represented by Grace Fiedler ’17, who took the part of Prime Minister Theresa May, and by Judge Browning ’17 and Christopher Miller ’18. The Irish governmental delegation included Corey DeVore ’18 as Prime Minister Enda Kenny and by Cristina Garcia Roldan ’19 and Jenna Hyde ’18. The European Parliament voted Tekena Imeleye ’17 as the Parliament’s President.
The LC group received four of the eight awards available at the simulation. Emily Harmon ’17 won the Outstanding Commissioner Award, Sabreen Rash ’17 was named the Outstanding Parliamentarian in the Plenary, Jenna Hyde ’18 the Outstanding Minister, and Christian Ridenour (a Randolph College student taking LC’s European Union Politics class through the Tri-College Consortium) won the Outstanding Parliamentarian in the Committee Award.