Friday, March 30, 2012

Counter-Terrorism Simulation

I had a ridiculously awesome opportunity today.

I got the chance to travel down to the University of Utah S.J. Quinney Law School this morning and participate in their fifth anual Counter-Terrorism Simulation as a journalist.

The simulation consisted of three-and-a-half hours of constant phone calls, press conferences, news stories, interviews, changes, aggression, stress, confusion and hands on learning.

Overall, the simulation challenge's the law students of Professor Amos Guiora's counter-terrorism class. They are challenged to face mock-terrorist attacks and become important decision makers, who are constantly being nagged and prodded by the press. That's where I, and my fellow colleagues come in.

We were a part of the news network UNN. Similar to CNN, but for our simulation. This was a fully functional news web page, which we were updating constantly throughout the simulation. I don't think there was a moment that at least three of us weren't on this page editing and writing stories, while others conducted interviews and phone calls.

We were able to challenge law students who have been learning about terrorism throughout the semester. It was a challenge to us both – quick decision making and prioritizing information quickly and efficiently.

I was able to work with two fellow colleagues from my class, and also two upper level students. We created a pretty awesome team, if I do say so myself.

Overall, this experience, hands down, was one of the greatest learning experiences that I have been lucky to be a part of. Yes, it was incredibly stressful and nerve-wracking, but I think that's what kept our drive going. :)

Also, can I tell you how much respect I have for my professor?
That man knows his stuff.
Thanks, Matt!

P.S. If you want to learn more about this, head to this site. 
There are videos of past simulations and information about them.