Baylor Model UN Students Receive Recognition at American Model United Nations Conference
WACO, Texas (Dec. 4, 2017) – Members of Baylor University’s Model UN team received recognition among their conference peers and staff at the 28th annual American Model United Nations (AMUN) Conference in Chicago, Illinois.
The conference, held Nov. 18-21, hosted more than 1,500 students representing more than 150 Member States in simulated committee sessions. The 15 participating Baylor students used their three months of research and practice to serve as diplomats, discussing solutions to contemporary international problems.
Baylor’s team had the role of representing Belgium in nine contemporary and historical committees.
“The AMUN Chicago Conference was a great experience for me because it used everything I’ve been studying in undergrad and put it into simulated practice,” said Grace Bregarg, a senior political science major. “Researching an interesting topic in depth and looking into how other nations would solve a common issue was fascinating. Collaborating with others at the conference was a great way to learn about how the UN actually functions as a body.”
This year’s topics ranged from “sustainable development – disaster risk reduction” to “bridging digital divides” and “assistance and protection against chemical weapons.” Students were required to propose solutions and come to a general consensus about the international and historical committees.
Of the Baylor committees, four teams were named “outstanding delegations” by other members of the conference. This marks the most individual recipients of this award Baylor has received at an AMUN conference in the last seven years they have attended.
Members of these four teams were Codi Nguyen (sophomore, political science), Youshay Rizvi (senior, international studies), Joseph De Mond (senior, political science), Sam Howell (junior, medical humanities), Luis Torres (junior, neuroscience), Matthew Walker (junior, University Scholar) and Cat Haseman (junior, University Scholar).
Rizvi and his teammate Nguyen participated in the General Assembly Plenary, discussing the topic “a world against violence and violent extremism.”
“AMUN showed me how research and classroom discussion become useful in a setting that replicates real-word discussions,” Rizvi said.
In addition to the “outstanding delegations” recognitions, two of Baylor Model UN’s student leaders were nominated to participate in committees in which individual awards were not conferred. In these committees, the work of the entire team was recognized for its keeping with the educational mission of the simulation. These students, Sahir Amlani (senior, political science and history) and Bailey Craig (junior, psychology and Spanish), served as justice of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and commissioner of the Commission on Inquiry, respectively.
Amlani and his committee discussed “maritime delimination in the Indian Ocean,” while Craig and his team discussed “United Nations commission for India and Pakistan.”
“The ICJ simulation gave me the unique opportunity to participate in legal discussions about real-life cases that impacted the future of many countries,” Amlani said. “It was exciting to engage in debate with some of the brightest students in the country, while at the same time collaborate to decide the best outcomes for each situation. My time at AMUN was an excellent learning experience because it taught me skills that I will use at Baylor and after I graduate.”
The Baylor University Model United Nations program originated in the early 1960s, when it participated in collegiate conferences around Texas. The team has traveled to national conferences every year since 1989 and has hosted an annual high school conference since 1994. Today, the Baylor Model UN team participates in at least three collegiate conferences each year - two national and one regional.
Rebecca Flavin, Ph.D., senior lecturer and Baylor Model UN adviser, recognizes the important educational value of the program and tournaments such as AMUN as the “foremost reward and benefit of Model United Nations.”
“This competition was an academic experience unlike any other, and on top of that, it was incredibly encouraging to find a community of students who share the same vision of what the world can be,” said Dalilah Negrete, a senior political science major who participated in the General Assembly Third Committee, which discussed the topic “improving the coordination of efforts against trafficking in persons.”
For more information about Baylor’s Model UN team, visit the Baylor University Model United Nations website.
by Brooke Battersby, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805
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