Model United Nations Team Scores Outstanding Delegation, 7 Other Awards


University of New Haven’s Model United Nations (MUN) team won eight awards in Washington, D.C. at an international competition earlier in November. One thousand students from 65 universities competed.

The team members, who were assigned the country of Brazil, won one of the twelve Outstanding Delegation awards, four outstanding position papers awards, and three outstanding delegates’ awards.

The students from the MUN team spent months researching their assigned country in order to create their stances.

“If you don’t have research you can’t build upon anything,” said Aneesha Kumar, a student who was a delegate for the General Assembly First Committee (GA1).

At the conference, teams called delegations, debated and voted on resolutions on issues concerning cybersecurity, narcotic drugs, refugees and others. While research is a big part of the class, there also is an emphasis on simulation to prepare the students.

Different students had different challenges. Some struggled with fear of public speaking and anxiety, such as Carolyn Olortegui, a student who represented on the Economic and Social Council Plenary (ECOSOC).

“While others said they saw it in me, I couldn’t do it personally,” Olortegui said about coping with her anxiety and leading a group.

During the conference, she led a team of 16, with two other girls, and she managed to overcome enough to grow, which she credits to the course’s simulations. Many of the students say they grew because of the course and experience, including Kumar who is helping to create MUN teams in high schools.

“Everything we did and all we put into it was thanks to Chris,” said Haylee Kessler, who worked on the Commission of Narcotic Drugs (CMD).

Chris Haynes, a political science professor at the university, was the professor for the MUN class this fall semester and will be teaching it again for the spring 2018 semester. Haynes said it was rewarding to see the students progress throughout the semester-long course.

“It was very proud to see them perform in the way they did,” said Haynes “So awesome to see them grow throughout the conference and the class the way they did.”

The next conference the MUN team from the university will be in New York, N where they will be representing their assigned country of Hungary. Team members, said Haynes,will be researching the country over their break.