Senior Debates World Affairs in Model Parliament
June 11, 2008
Andre Rodriguez, a senior international political economy major, debated international policy issues in the fourth annual North American model parliament — known as the Triumvirate — last month at Montreal City Hall in Quebec, Canada.
The Triumvirate is a collaboration of about 100 American, Canadian and Mexican university students who meet for five days to imitate a parliamentary meeting between North American policymakers.
Each participant must play the role of legislator, journalist or lobbyist, depending on the assignment.
Rodriguez acted as a legislator from Mexico. His commission dealt with investment protection.
Cross-cultural experiences are a good starting point for understanding differences, Rodriguez said.
“It was so tricky — there’s a diverse set of opinions within our country, and building a consensus was difficult,” Rodriguez said. “There needs to be more crossing the borders. I believe more people need to interact with Mexico because there is a lot of ignorance within the international community.”
Rodriguez was endorsed by UT Dallas’ Center for U.S.–Mexico Studies to attend the event and received financial aid from the North American Forum on Integration, which hosts the Triumvirate event each year.
According to Rodolfo Hernandez Guerrero, director of the University’s Center for U.S.–Mexico Studies, it’s no surprise that Rodriguez got involved with model parliament.
“Andre is a very proactive student. He participates in LULAC, CONAHEC and other regional associations,” reflected Hernandez Guerrero. “He is concerned about the future of the U.S. and has what it takes to be a leader. He is dynamic and wants to keep going with his training, learning to become the best leader that he can be.”
Rodriguez recently attended the State Democratic Convention in Austin. He is now participating in UT Dallas’ Guanajuato Spanish Program where he will study in Mexico for one month and live with a host family. He plans to study abroad this fall.