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Students solve global crises in simulation

It was March 30. Several leaders from different countries met at the U.N. to do damage control on an explosion that resulted in dozens of fatalities. At least, in theory, that is. This was the Global Crisis Stimulation—an annual event hosted by ORU where students embody world leaders and solve international “crises.”

GCS gave students an opportunity to see how the political landscape runs on an international scale.

Saudi Arabia, China, the United States, Russia and other countries were represented by students. The different facets and roles of each member of the countries’ government were also represented.

Prior to GCS, students studied up on their respective countries to accurately role play. Because China has good relations with Russia, this was represented in the simulation, up until the last hour of the simulation when  China took over Russia.

Nathan Snuffer, the lead organizer for GCS, is proud of how far the simulation has come since its early beginnings. Students from Cottey College, the University of Central Oklahoma and Booker T. Washington high school came to participate in this year’s events.

Snuffer hoped that students would leave knowing more about the world.

“The world isn’t a nice, sweet place,” said Snuffer. “They think stuff happens separate from each other, when in reality, crises especially happen simultaneously through communication or when you’re on the brink of war.”

Through takeovers, nukes and kidnappings, GCS Command Center kept participants busy and on the lookout for other countries. Memos of problems were handed out to countries as the hours went by, with each hour representing a day.

Aside from countries, students representing AP News, The New York Times and The Wire tweeted out updates via Twitter. An Observation Task Force was also an integral part of the day, where students represented human rights and gave aid to the countries.

Fellow coordinator Heather Snow encouraged students to join in next year.

“Be involved, no matter what your major. We’ve had nurses, other colleges and high school students involved. Not everyone here is in government,” Snow said.

Snow explained that GCS was growing. With eighty participants this year, other colleges around Oklahoma are interested in sending students next year, including the University of Tulsa.

Theo Elisha, a sophomore international relations major, represented the prince of Saudi Arabia. He believed the simulation was not only good for career building but also for learning about communication.

“It’s made clear the lack of communication as things go up the chain of command, like a game of telephone. It’s definitely made clear how little is communicated between subordinates and superiors,” Elisha said.

Elizabeth Wilkie, a junior dance performing arts major who served as France’s ambassador, used the opportunity to train for her future goal of working internationally.

“You gain more knowledge on different crises happening around the world, even though it’s a simulation,” Wilkie said. “I think GCS helps give knowledge about how different governments work.”

Alyssa Harris, a junior Christian counseling major who represented AP News, enjoyed the experience and encouraged others to apply next year for GCS. For all majors, there was something to gain.

“It’s cool how you get bits and pieces from different sources that mostly line up. It encourages me to keep up with the news,” Harris said.

From assassinations, tsunamis and the overthrow of a government, GCS took students through authentic international trials that must be dealt with through good communication skills.

Photos by Jonathan Rodriguez