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Model UN wins multiple awards at national conference

Sally Kershner
Features Editor

Over Thanksgiving Break, the College’s Model United Nations team (MUN) attended the annual fall conference for the American Model United Nations (AMUN) in Chicago, Ill. This year, the team represented the country of Senegal and earned multiple awards for their participation during the four day long conference.

The team won the Position Paper Award and the award for overall Best Delegation, along with two committees that won Best Delegate Awards. These committees were General Assembly First committee headed by Sabrina Harris ’19 and Kenny Kalikasingh ’19 and the Security Council committee, headed by Anushka Mishra ’18 and Mikael Rae ’20. Peers at the conference were the ones who voted for these two committees to win these prestigious awards.

“It is quite common for Wooster to win the position paper award and very frequently do partnerships receive awards, but we have not in recent years received the award for overall outstanding team. This year was special because we won the position paper award as well as two of our partnerships receiving individual awards, and our entire team was recognized as one of the best at the conference,” said President of MUN Thomas Fitz Gibbon ’17. Fitz Gibbon organizes team practices and guides the team alongside Vice President Harris and faculty advisor Professor Kent Kille.

Not only is this annual conference competitive, the process of getting selected to be a part of the travelling MUN team is a competition in itself. Of all 29 current members of MUN, only 16 students were chosen to travel to this fall conference.

“Each semester we hold two tryout sessions, which are simulations of a Model UN conference. The officers on Wooster’s Model UN executive board choose the 13 best students to travel to that semester’s conference. Anyone who does not make the traveling team is encouraged to stay on the research team. When it comes to weekly practices, there is no real difference between a research and a travelling team member,” said Fitz Gibbon.

The other 13 students devoted their time to research in preparation for the conference, contributing a large amount of help for the travel team’s success. Research coordinator Brandon Borges ’19 guides students on what and how to research, preparing students for this final conference.

“I’m proud that the students we brought in were relatively new, along with upperclassmen that had never done MUN before,” said Borges. This fall, the team was comprised of many novices, with upperclassmen students that major in biochemistry and business economics and even undeclared freshmen.

“Model UN is an exciting opportunity for students from any academic background to explore multilateral diplomacy and the UN decision-making process by taking on the role of a particular country to negotiate agreements with other countries,” said Kille.

Since a student doesn’t have to be deeply involved in the political science department at Wooster as a prerequisite to participate in MUN, Kille encourages all students to explore this interest. During next Spring Break, the travel team will journey to New York City to compete again in the American Model United Nations conference.

“Model UN starts fresh every semester and no previous experience is necessary, so anyone who has not taken part in Model UN before is welcome to come and participate,” said Kille.

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