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Sixteen members of International Affairs Club will travel to Washington, D.C., Nov. 20-23 to participate in the annual European Union Simulation sponsored by the European American Institute.

Representing Swedish government leaders and diplomats, the students will work with peers from 15 colleges to create a resolution that would help apprehend and punish international criminals. Topics of debate include the duties of the International Criminal Court and Europol, an organization established to combat terrorism, drug trafficking, and other forms of international organized crime.

The group will meet with a Swedish ambassador at the Swedish Embassy and attend a video telecast at the Finnish Embassy with officers in Brussels during its stay in Washington.

The International Affairs Club gathers every Thursday at 8 p.m. for hour-long meetings that serve as informational sessions. As European Union commissioner, Silvia Veltcheva, a senior International Affairs major from Racine, Wisc., is briefing participants on the politics, history, and industry of Sweden. Guest speakers also help broaden each student’s knowledge base.

Representing Sweden’s prime minister will be junior history major Johan Van Gorp of Hong Kong. Senior Lauren Frese, an International Affairs major from Morris Plains, N.J., will serve as foreign minister; and Kristin McGroarty, a senior A.B. engineering major from Hartland, Wisc., will be Sweden’s defense minister.

A dozen students will represent Swedish members of European Parliament. They include juniors Philip Dimitrov, a math major from Sofia, Bulgaria, and Bethany Boucher, an A.B. engineering major from Hudson, N.H.; and Muhammad Rafat-ul Islam, a sophomore from Dhaka, Bangladesh.

First-year students are A.B. engineering major Hugh King of Tryon, N.C.; economics and business major Basar Eraksoy of Istanbul, Turkey; International Affairs major Jesslyn Roebuck of Montgomery, N.Y.; economics and business major Mila Tzolova of Sofia, Bulgaria; computer science major Peter Zsoldos of Budapest, Hungary; International Affairs major Brian Leap of Hudson, N.H.; A.B. engineering major Kristen Tull of Sicklerville, N.J.; International Affairs major Marta Murczek of Reading, Pa.; and International Affairs major Haunani Yap of Singapore.

Michael Kotov, a senior economics and business major from Philadelphia, has been designated as an alternate for the trip.

Rado Pribic, Oliver Edwin Williams Professor of Languages and chair of the International Affairs program, and Katalin Fabian, assistant professor of government and law, are advising the team.

“This simulation helps you become aware of what is going on outside our country,” says Kotov. “After 9/11, we must take into account the standpoint of the U.S. as well as other countries. In Washington, you get to see how the EU interacts with Middle Eastern and Asian countries and Russia.”

Kotov, who attended the simulation last year, describes it as “a very valuable experience” and says the conference affords an opportunity to meet influential government officials and discuss issues.

Even though the EU Simulation group has been selected, the International Affairs Club encourages students to participate in meetings. “You can learn a lot about the EU and other countries of the world,” says Kotov.

International Affairs Club hopes to bring Amnesty International, a worldwide group that works to promote internationally recognized human rights, back to campus this spring.

Categorized in: Academic News