At this year’s Midwest Model European Union (MMEU), several IUB students were ranked among the three best performing country delegates in multiple award categories, including in the overall, “Best Country Delegation” category. At the yearly MMEU conference, which in recent years has been organized by IUB's Institute for European Studies (EURO), student teams from about 16 colleges and universities debate and compete against each other in a simulation of European Union (EU) politics, where each team represents a particular EU member state. This year, two such country teams (13 students in total) participated on behalf of IUB. Jai Dabriwal, Norman Hezlep and Gabriel Donnelly are among the students who represented the Netherlands, and won 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, respectively, for “Best Delegate” in their respective roles as Vice-President of the European Commission, Minister of Finance, and Minister for Justice and Home Affairs. Furthermore, together with their fellow country team members (Austin Pardue, Luke Morgante, Drake Garbacik, and John Janicijevi), they won 2nd place in the overall contest for “Best Country Delegation.”
Students invariably find their participation in the MMEU conference a rewarding experience in more ways than one. This year is no exception. For instance, Nick Linfesty, who on behalf of IUB served as Slovenia’s Minister for Justice and Home Affairs, noted that “I had a lot of fun representing IU at the MMEU. At first I didn’t know what to expect, but over the course of the semester and throughout our meetings I really enjoyed the whole process and can’t wait to do it again. When the Conference started, I was a little nervous to jump right in and start, but once I settled in I began to debate more and made friends in the process. Overall, it was a positive experience and hope to do it again next year." Gabriel Donnelly concurs, recalling that MMEU "was such a wonderful academic experience. I highly recommend the conference and I was surprised how much fun I had. The IMU is a great host and it was wonderful to meet and associate with new students from around the nation. This year the conference could not have been at a more timely spot for discussing the importance of the European Union as 'Brexit' is engulfing the news as well." Likewise, Austin Pardue, who served as an outstanding chairperson during the practice and conference sessions, notes that MMEU “is an absolute pleasure. I was involved last year as the Chair of the Environment Council, and this year served as the Prime Minister of the Netherlands and Deputy Chair of the European Council. Being able to represent the interests of another country, and to simulate the discussions on a wide range of issues going from energy independence to immigration to election security is fascinating. All the colleges that participate each year do amazing work, and I’ve had the pleasure of making a number of friends along the way. My delegation of the Netherlands won 2nd place for best delegation this year. It’s a shame I won’t be able to do it again, but I recommend it to anyone that has even a remote interest in European or international politics."
To prepare for the conference, IUB students participated in this year’s POLS-X 476 Political Science Practicum III class, in some cases as part of POLS-Y 350 Politics of the European Union.