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Global Crisis Simulation focuses on Middle East

Fifty students gathered on the 6th floor of the GC on Nov. 16 with one purpose in mind: find a solution to a global crisis assigned to them and act accordingly to diffuse the situation in Global Crisis Simulation (GCS).

Four rooms represented four different countries in the Middle East: Syria, Jordan, Turkey and Israel. Inside each room, students encircled a round table resembling that of the Situation Room in the White House. Cellphones, iPads and an enormous projector screen illuminated the taut, focused and slightly sweaty faces of students contemplating crisis resolution and mediation tactics.

In a larger room, ORU juniors Ryan Tate-Sullivan and Josh Gardner represent members of Al-Qaida.

“We’re going to kill him, $50 million,”  Tate-Sullivan threatens Israeli leaders.

Here’s the scenario: the Al-Qaida group just finished filming footage of volunteering ORU professor, Winston Frost, being kidnapped. He represents a U. S. ambassador visiting Israel for a Syrian humanitarian crisis conference in Tel Aviv.

The students representing the different countries must act accordingly and as realistically as possible to each scenario in terms of their country’s history, resources and capabilities.

“This is my third simulation, and I learn new things every year,” said Sullivan.

Jonathan Hall started the GCS in Spring 2010.  There have been eight since.

Senior Irasema Panameno is the current leader of GCS events. Panameno participated in the past five simulations.

“I really want to make this an event that all majors can be involved in so that people see the importance of being globally aware of everything that’s going on crisis-wise, with innovations, technologies and progression of the various countries,” said Panameno.

When Panameno graduates in December, senior Jesse Himes will take over the simulations.

“I like to impart my knowledge to the students,” Himes said. “I’ve done these simulations before, and being able to throw a lot of information at the younger, more uninformed students, and see how they work and handle the pressure is fun.”

Sophomore Kayla Hanohano said, “This whole experience really makes me want to be more informed about what’s going on in the world. This is my first time being at GCS, and after doing this, it really makes me want to do missions.”

Students from outside ORU are also getting involved. Six students from Booker T. Washington attended the event this weekend with social studies teacher John Waldren.

“We are very excited to be here and are very impressed with the facilities and use of technology to generate the simulations,” Waldren said.

Dr. Ruby Libertus, professor of international relations and overseer of the event, hopes the GCS will one day offer course credit.

“It would include disaster prevention, disaster management, crisis resolution, crisis mediation, and much more,” Libertus said.

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