Mount Notre Dame students head to Rome just as new pope is to be elected

READING, Ohio - This year's trip to Rome for Mount Notre Dame's Model U.N. club has been in the works for a long time. However, with the recent resignation of Pope Benedict XVI and conclave set to begin Tuesday the trip has taken on an entirely new relevance.

"I've been looking forward to going on an international trip through this club since my sophomore year," said senior Elisabeth Schnicke.

"Going to Rome and having the Pope being selected while we're there makes it just so much more exciting."

The Model U.N. is an organization designed to teach students about diplomacy, international affairs and human rights.

"Some of them go to law school. One of my former students is a professor at Georgetown University," said social studies teacher Susan Magnus.

Magnus is the club's advisor.

"It's not that they have to go into international things, but they have an appreciation for people who are different, and I think in any type of career the experiences they have at these conferences are helpful," said Magnus.

The students actually have tickets to tour the Sistine Chapel,  but that is where the College of Cardinals meet for the Conclave, so the group hopes a pope is elected within the 10 days that they'll be there.

"Our hotel is 3 miles away,  but I'm definitely willing to walk there to be there if there's the possibility of that white smoke," said senior Margaret Lohmann.

Stay with 9 On Your Side and for updates on the group and their travels.



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