BAYLOR AND LATIN AMERICA
The Baylor Model Organization of the American States (MOAS) team returned to Texas last week after continuing its tradition of excellence at another academic model. Baylor MOAS attends three conferences each year: The Eugene Scassa Mock OAS in the fall, the Washington MOAS in the spring, and an international model which this year was held in Costa Rica.
Baylor MOAS represented the Dominican Republic at this year’s Washington MOAS. The Washington model gives students the unique opportunity to debate critical international issues in the same halls where the Western Hemisphere’s oldest regional political organization discusses those same issues. The team forged diplomatic consensus and a spirit of Inter-American cooperation as they exchanged ideas and cultures with students from universities from Canada to Argentina.
In addition to their diplomatic duties, these students had the opportunity to visit the Dominican Republic Mission to the OAS, hear addresses by the OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro and Assistant Secretary General Nestor Mendez, and take a private tour of the U.S. Capitol. Students also found time to visit monuments, museums, and take in the beauty of Washington DC’s famous cherry blossoms.
The Washington model is the culmination of months of in-class preparation and research into the Organization of the American States and the Dominican Republic. Each semester students prepare resolutions and a position paper on various topics related to the international goals and positions of the country they represent.
Head Delegate Lawson Sadler (San Antonio, Junior, University Scholar) and Makayla Gorden (Midland, Junior, Anthropology and Political Science) led this year’s team. Sadler and Gorden joined Head Delegates from other schools in tackling topics like trade, climate change, refugees and the promotion of peace in the Hemisphere.
Representing Baylor in the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs were Jennifer De La Fuente (Mission TX, Sophomore, Latin American and Environmental Studies) and Meilin Li (Yantai, China, Senior Political Science). Li and De la Fuente joined delegates in discussing legal protections for minority groups in the Hemisphere, and the promotion of women in government.
Jorden Jorgenson (Tacoma WA, Senior, International Studies and Spanish) and Colin Keele (Waco, Freshman, Business) sat on the Committee for Hemispheric Security. This committee handled critical topics like child nutrition, cooperation when combating the illicit drug trade, and disaster relief.
The Committee on Integral Development handled issues related to preventable childhood diseases, education, and changing labor markets. Baylor students Michaela Scott (Cape Girardeau MO, Sophomore, University Scholar) and Erin Franklin (Llano, Sophomore, International Studies) sat on this committee.
New to the conference this year was the Special Committee on Political Threats to the Consolidation of Representative Democracy in the Americas. In this committee David Bryant, (Crossroads, Sophomore, History) and Trevor Allred (Houston, Junior, International Studies) discussed the ongoing crisis in Venezuela as well as the protection of displaced persons and political minorities.
Helping the administrative side of these committees were two rapporteurs— Will Badger (Phoenix AZ, Freshman, Business Fellows) and Camryn Lutes (Spring, Freshman, Political Science). Serving on the Committee for Integral Development and Special Committee, respectively, they assisted the chairs of those committees facilitate debate, earning the gratitude of both chairs and delegates in the process.
In total, the team had all of their resolutions (ten in total) approved for debate by the Faculty Review Committees and debated vigorously in committee. Team members made important connections with their counterparts from Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia and Argentina as well as with students engaged in international relations at other U.S. universities. The team looks forward to sharing their experiences with fellow students, faculty and administrators.
MOAS team members prepare for the Diplomatic Ball at OAS Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Joan E. Supplee, the Ralph L. and Bessie Mae Lynn Professor of History, coached the team.
Relevant Websites: www.wmoas.org, http://www.oas.org/en/member_states/member_state.asp?sCode=GUA
For more information, please contact: Lawson Sadler, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Makayla Gorden, email@example.com