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MOAS team wins multiple awards

Nov. 9, 2004

By JOSH HORTON, staff writer

Houston senior Cameron Boone is not actually a Colombian policy-maker, but if he were, he would have a plan for farmers.

Boone was one of 18 Baylor students who traveled to the Model Organization of American States competition at St. Mary's University in San Antonio this weekend. The model was sponsored by the World Affairs Council of San Antonio. Students worked in five simulation committees that dealt with topics including security, human rights, drugs, economic development and promotion of democracy. Each committee received topics to write resolutions about.

Courtesy photo
Baylor's MOAS team members competed in San Antonio this weekend. A trip to Washington, D.C., is scheduled for the spring semester.
"I was on the committee for hemisphere security," Boone said. "I represented Colombia, so narco-terrorism was a big thing we pushed for. We passed 12 resolutions. One of the resolutions I passed called for subsidies for farmers in Colombia, to give them an impetus to grow legal crops."

The Baylor team competed with 19 other teams and received awards for its work in each of the five committees and the General Assembly.

Austin junior Laura Samudio was elected 2005 president of the entire organization. She said she had not thought about running for president until recently.

"I had thought of it earlier in the semester, but I hadn't sat down and thought about what I was going to do until about a week ago when we had to decide who was going to be our candidate," Samudio said. "They all looked at me and said, 'You're going to be our candidate.'"

She said running for president made this competition different from the other three she has participated in.

"I had to not only make sure I was well-known and well-spoken in my committee, but I also had to reach out to delegates in other committees," she said.

Dr. Joan Supplee, director of the program, said the team learned in August that it would represent Colombia and Panama in the competition. The team has met every Monday and Wednesday this semester to prepare. The team works on content on Mondays and parliamentary procedure on Wednesdays.

"The time they put in the meetings alone is more than a three-hour class, but that's just the tip of the iceberg on what they do outside class," Supplee said. "It's a lot of work and they do it voluntarily."

Along with the team meetings, the students wrote "white papers," which are academic papers about the countries they represented.

The team also took a trip to Monterrey, Mexico, in October to practice parliamentary procedure.

Student participation in this weekend's competition was voluntary, but in the spring some will go to an international competition in Washington, D.C., as part of a course.

Next year, Baylor will not compete in San Antonio, but will help run the event. Supplee said Baylor will work with the San Antonio council and do judging.

Boone said being involved with the team has helped broaden his views.

"I think this gives you a better world view, because many times Americans look past Latin America as being insignificant," he said. "It's important that Americans pay attention to what's going on there."

Supplee said she was proud of what the team achieved this weekend.

"They worked very hard," she said. "They deserved it."