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Eurosim recap: what you don't want to miss next year

by Siomara Germain - COPY EDITOR
Tue, Apr 11th 2017 10:00 pm
Screenshot taken from trishasenge on instagram  
SMALL WORLD - Created 30 years ago by The College at Brockport Professor Emeritus William G. Andrews, EuroSim came back to the campus for it annual conference. The event attracted more than 200 people.
Screenshot taken from trishasenge on instagram SMALL WORLD - Created 30 years ago by The College at Brockport Professor Emeritus William G. Andrews, EuroSim came back to the campus for it annual conference. The event attracted more than 200 people.

 Recently, The College at Brockport hosted approximately 200 students from different colleges for the annual EuroSim event. A lot of the students and others in attendance not only came from the United States, as many others came all the way from Europe. 

This year, the representatives in attendance came from: "Alfred University, Aston University (United Kingdom), Canisius College, Colgate University, East Stroudsburg University (Pennsylvania), Helmut Schmidt University Hamburg (Germany), Kennesaw State University (Georgia), Maastricht University (Netherlands), Niagara University, St. John Fisher College, The College at Brockport, University of Antwerp (Belgium), University of Saarland (Germany), University of Twente (Netherlands) and Widener University (Pennsylvania)," according to brockport.edu.

For those who aren't sure what EuroSim is, it is an international and intercollegiate simulation of the European Union. 

Every year, 10 European schools and 10 American schools come together for a conference to simulate the European union. 

"Students take on roles such as head of government, one of the members states or a member of parliament to debate legislation," Arielle Ingrassia said. 

Brockport student Shane Thomas explains it as, the combination of real world studying and politics meeting the fictional world of simulated conference. 

"Students have the opportunity to dive in to their particular roles and hopefully influence policy or change within the European union," Thomas said. 

This year's event was Thomas' first simulation and he had a "special role". Rather than being a part of a particular member of parliament or just an individual who gets to vote on the piece of legislation that's implemented, he was a lobbyist where he had a specific company that he had to represent. 

"Throughout every different aspect of the conference, whether it was in parliament or foreign affair council or European council, (they are all different rooms within the simulation) I had to make sure that my company's interests were protected," Thomas said. "So I had to use my communications skills alongside the political knowledge that I had learned to influence the policy for my particular company which was BEUC."

Thomas' experience at the event is something he will forever cherish. During the event, he had the opportunity to make connections with students from abroad universities whom he continues to stay in contact with. 

EuroSim was created by Brockport Professor Emeritus William G. Andrews and was held in Brockport 30 years ago for the first few years before it expanded abroad. 

Last year, EuroSim was hosted in Europe in Brussels. This year Brockport hosted it and it was monumental being that it was the 30 year anniversary of EuroSim. 

According to Brockport student, Catherine Taylor, every EuroSim is different. 

"Last year, the event was about the migrant crisis and this year it was energy policy," Taylor said. 

Last year, Taylor had the same job as Thomas, which was lobbying for her organization in the different rooms within the conference. 

This year, both Ingrassia and Taylor's were members of the commission during this groundbreaking event. This means they both wrote the proposal, which is the piece of legislation that was debated in the conference. Their proposal ended up passing, which is a very big deal to anyone who participate in the conference. 

"There are several different rooms that discuss the proposal," Ingrassia said. "There's the parliament, the foreign ministers and the different roles that come together to reach a consensus. There's a lot of negotiating and trying to compromise but eventually on the final day it felt really good to have a final product and that's something that a lot of the students are being graded on so their professors look it over."

Planning the conference was a big undertaking as they had to make sure that the policy was up to a standard and good to debate but they were able to pull it off by working as a team and also making sure everyone felt welcome. 

"The role that you take on is really who you become during the conference," Taylor said. "So it's really getting into your alter ego, seeing people as their alter egos and really immersing yourself in it. So when you're seeing some hard things going on at the conference, you really care about it. But then seeing it pass in the end is a huge relief."

Like Thomas, Ingrassia was glad to be a part of such a huge and successful event. 

"There are some people I met last weekend that I know I will keep in touch with and even see again some day if I go travel to Europe or meet up with them," Ingrassia said. "I think we really develop some lifelong friendships."

According to Thomas some of the highlights of EuroSim for him was staying up to almost 4 a.m. writing a proposal and working closely with a representative to get that proposal to pass through and voted on.

"It was kind of a win for my particular role to actually have policy change (about consumers rights) within the European council," Thomas said. 

Those who participate in Eurosim have the opportunity to experience some real life policy issue before they graduate and go on to their respective fields. 

EuroSim is also a great resume builder for students who are going into a political career or just interested in the political environment. However, one does not need to be a political science major in order to be a part of or benefit from participating in EuroSim. People in attendance have the opportunity to connect and meet people from different parts of the world who will eventually and possibly go on to become big world players. 

The next conference will be held in Europe next January for the length of two weeks. 

@siomaraag

sgerm2@brockport.edu

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