Harding students ranked in annual Southwest Model Arab League

SEARCY, Ark. — Ten Harding University students participated in the annual Southwest Model Arab League for the first time in the school’s history April 7-9 at University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a team of two Harding students receiving honorable mention. The students, members of the Harding chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, an international political science honor society, were assigned to represent the United Arab Emirates at the simulation hosted by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. The teams researched preset topics for several weeks before the competition to create agendas to present before student attendees of 16 other universities from Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Senior political science major James Brunton of Leire, England, and Steven Crowder of Abilene, Texas, served on the Joint Defense Council and were awarded honorable mention based on a review by the student delegates in attendance and recommendations from chairpersons on the committee. Harding students Emily Hartman, Kathleen Larkin, Emily Wood, Caleb Stovall, Bethany Stovall, Garin Giacomarro, Andrew English and Sarah Everett also participated in various committees at the competition including the Political, Social, Environmental and Palestine Affairs Councils. “We heard about the event and had wanted to look at ways to be more active,” Brunton said. “We unanimously felt it would be something that would be enjoyable, challenging and help us to learn more about the Middle East and Islam in general.” The Southwest Model Arab League is one of 14 annual simulations across the U.S. hosted by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations that seeks to educate university and high school students on issues in the Arab world and improve skills of diplomacy and public discussion. Harding had a record enrollment this year of more than 6,800 students from 49 states and 53 foreign countries. It is the largest private university in Arkansas and attracts more National Merit Scholars than any other private university in the state. Harding also maintains campuses in Australia, Chilé, England, France, Greece, Italy and Zambia.