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Professor and students lead model European Union

New Paltz is the new home of the nation's first intercollegiate European Union simulation, the State University of New York Model European Union (SUNYMEU).

In August, Kathleen Dowley (Political Science) was named director of the program. Under her direction for the next two years, New Paltz will organize simulations of the European Union (EU), an intergovernmental system with 27 members states.

Dowley is working with two student co-directors - Natalie Annesi '10 (International Relations) and Holly Wood '08 (International Relations) - to organize and recruit for the program.

The simulation program originated in 1988 with an EU simulation at SUNY Brockport. The SUNYMEU was established in 2006 by the Institute for European Union Studies at SUNY.

New Paltz will co-host the 2008 simulation in January, which will be held at Izmir Economics University in Turkey - a university with which New Paltz has a joint baccalaureate program. In April 2009, New Paltz will host the SUNYMEU simulation on its campus.

"The simulations provide opportunities for European and American students to develop lasting friendships and learn from one another in a structured, but less formal setting than the classroom," said Dowley.

Students of all majors from across the SUNY system are invited to participate in the simulation for one academic credit. They prepare for their roles as members of governing bodies and the press corps at their home campuses with faculty mentors.

The topic of simulation is the Slovenian Presidency. The European Council, the highest political body of the EU, operates under a presiding trio in which the lead countries share an 18- month working program, divided into six-month terms. As the home university, New Paltz will serve as the delegation from Slovenia, which will begin its presidency on Jan. 1, 2008.

In addition to co-hosting the simulation this year, New Paltz has created a three-credit course, "Turkey and the EU," through Buffalo State's International Programs. The course includes the three-day simulation and an optional 10-day study course to be led by Ilgu Ozler (Political Science), who is originally from Turkey.

The simulations regularly attracts more than 150 participants from the United States and Europe. Participating schools include SUNY Cortland, SUNY Fredonia, Buffalo State and the University of Buffalo, as well as partner universities in Exeter and Manchester, United Kingdom.

Registration is open until Nov. 2.

For more information about the SUNY Model European Union, contact Dowley at x3558 or dowleyk@newpaltz.edu.