COMMERCE, Texas – Oklahoma Christian University (OC) won top honors for the fifth straight year at the Southwest Model Arab League competition.
Representing Algeria, OC beat out 20 other schools for the Outstanding Delegation award, including Baylor University, Oral Roberts University, and Texas A&M University.
Professor of Political Science Raymon Huston, OC’s Model Arab League sponsor, said the three-day competition requires students to learn the stances of each nation in Arab relations.
“The different universities will represent a country on five different committees,” Huston said. “The students will try to present that country’s opinions on past resolutions and just try to be the best they can for that country.”
Two students from each university serve as diplomats on each of the five committees: Economic Affairs, Joint Defense Council, Palestinian Affairs, Political Affairs, and Social Affairs. Each OC student – Priscilla Cisneros, Wesley Duncan, Alexis Farrell, Joshua Gage, Angelica Hickerson, Nicholas Jenson, Meagan McKinley, Cody Milner, Karli Otey and Sean Vandyke – received the Outstanding Delegate award for his or her committee.
In addition, the only OC student to serve as a committee chair received the honor of Distinguished Chair. Huston said OC’s near sweep of the awards is due to the students’ dedication.
“It’s purely voluntary for OC students, whereas about two-thirds of the students from other universities are receiving credit,” Huston said. “My students were self-motivated and worked on their own.”
Huston said the competition is a perfect tie-in to the goal of OC’s Department of History and Political Science.
“Part of what our department wants for students is a global perspective and understanding of other cultures,” Huston said. “In the Model Arab League, they have to truly understand the beliefs and actions of another country and how that fits into the whole culture of the Middle East. They not only have to know the perspective of the country they’re representing, but the perspectives of all the Arab countries, so it gives them an idea of what other countries believe.”
The Model Arab League competition began in 1988 and is supported by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations in Washington, D.C. Huston started OC’s Model Arab League team based on his own positive experiences during college.
“When I was a student, it was a fun event,” Huston said. “I wanted to give my students that same enjoyment and fun.”
For more information about OC’s Department of History and Political Science, go to www.oc.edu/historypolisci.
Oklahoma Christian is ranked as one of the best universities in the western United States by The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report. A recent study rated Oklahoma Christian as one of the best higher education values in Oklahoma, citing the university’s low net price combined with OC graduates’ high starting salaries.
OC offers undergraduate programs in more than 80 fields of study, an undergraduate Honors Program, and graduate programs in accountancy, business administration, computer science, engineering, Christian ministry, divinity, and theological studies.