Photo courtesy of SRMUN
Photo courtesy of SRMUN

Model U.N. wins two awards at SRMUN

On Saturday, April 2, the Wake Forest Model United Nations team returned to campus from the three day Southern Regional Model United Nations (SRMUN) conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

They won two awards and a special recognition — a huge step forward for the club, which had not seen any activity since 2012.

Model UN is a simulation of the official United Nations, where club members (or “delegates”) attempt to resolve issues by discussing solutions to various topics. Delegates are further divided into separate committees, mirroring those represented by their countries in reality. By the end of the committee sessions, successful delegates incorporate their respective country’s recommended plans of action into “resolutions,” or final committee papers.

Over the past semester, the club has been conducting background research on their assigned countries, reinforcing their public speaking skills and rehearsing negotiation and conflict management.

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In preparation for the conference, club members were tasked with writing a position paper explaining their assigned country’s stances on certain issues defined by the committees. At conference, seven separate committees discussed 14 different issues ranging from promoting the use of microfinance for rural development to peaceful uses of outer space for sustainable development.

To be successful, delegates needed to act diplomatically to persuade other countries to adopt their agenda in order for their country’s stances to appear on the resolution.

For the duration of the three day conference, delegates were on their feet resolving conflicts and negotiating with other student-delegates from the over 34 schools that were represented. “We definitely had to put in a lot of work in learning rules of procedure, doing country research and writing our position papers,” said freshman Cameron Bainbridge, “It really paid off at the conference, where we had productive committee sessions and a fantastic conference overall.”

Wake Forest sent nine students to compete in conference, representing the member states of Turkey and Libya.

Freshman Riley Mistrot was elected to the SRMUN staff as a committee chair during the conference, taking on one of very few concrete leadership roles offered to delegates.

The entire delegation representing Turkey was not only awarded a certificate for “Best Position Papers” across all committees, but they also won the “Best Delegation” award for diplomacy and consistent hard work in one of their committees.

The club looks to bring home more awards and distinctions in the future as it expands its horizons to larger conferences in New York and Chicago.

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