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Baylor team wins two awards for debate competition

Nov. 6, 1998



Last weekend a team of 10 Baylor students won two out of five awards at the Second Annual Model Organization of American States Conference in San Antonio.

'Baylor produced a simply marvelous team for the OAS,' said Barbara Schneider, executive director of the San Antonio Council on World Affairs. 'Your delegates were outstanding. They were well-prepared and on time.'

Teams from 14 colleges and universities throughout Texas and one team from the National Autonomous University of Mexico represented countries in North and Latin America and debated topics such as human rights, drug trafficking, international trade, democracy and the environment.

The Baylor team chose to represent Argentina.

Out of the two team awards presented, Baylor earned the award for Most Creative Representation.

Dr. Joan Supplee, director of Latin American Studies, said the team received this award in recognition of their outstanding research and preparation and for their spirit and accuracy in the personification of Argentina.

Out of the three individual awards presented, Bethany Jenkins, a Pensacola, Fla. senior, won the honorable mention for best delegate.

'We all represented Baylor well,' Jenkins said. 'They could've chosen anyone to be best delegate because everyone represented Baylor and Argentina accurately.'

The Baylor team spent six hours a week for six weeks preparing for the competition.

'We usually met two times a week,' John Wolf, a Grand Rapids Mich. freshman, said. 'The professors prepared us well, and we were ready for the competition.'

Members for the Baylor team were selected at the Model United Nation tryouts in September. The team contained nine members as well as Lin Wayner, a New York graduate student who went with the team to act as the secretary-general of the conference.

'My job was challenging because I was running a meeting with more than 100 students participating, and all of them were arguing current issues passionately and forcefully,' Wayner said.

All the members agreed that this was a fun experience.

'It was incredible,' Wayner said. 'It was fun because it was a cultural immersion. For one weekend we were Argentina diplomats speaking with other diplomats.'

Not only was the conference fun, it was also a learning experience for everyone involved.

'Probably the most important thing for us was that is was a phenomenal learning experience,' Supplee said.

The Baylor team is the only team to ever win two awards.

'Baylor has a very high reputation in these events, and people at the conference were not disappointed with how professional and prepared our team was,' Supplee said.

Because of the continued success Baylor has had in these types of regional events, it may participate in larger competitions in the future.

'Since we have clearly dominated the last two years, we are considering expanding the program to go to nationals in Washington D.C. at the OAS building in the spring,' Supplee said.

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