This past weekend, November 5-7, 2015 the Baylor Model Organization of American States (MOAS) travelled to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette to debate policies in the Western Hemisphere along with other universities from Texas, Louisiana and Mexico. Baylor students represented Venezuela and Jamaica in the Mock Organization of American States (OAS) and presented and defended resolutions that covered issues such as revision of the Rio Treaty, establishing standards for government surveillance, preparing for the hemisphere's aging population, assuring access of water to all, promoting education and prison reforms, establishing norms for treatment of refugees and establishing budget priorities. Students were also tasked with resolving a crisis that involved an outbreak of the MERS virus in Venezuela and its spread to Colombia as a result of the influx of Syrian refugees. Mucia Flores (junior Political Science and Great Texts major from Laredo, TX) served as Secretary-General of this year's model. Joan Stanton (Political Science major (2015) from Massapequa, NY) was Parliamentarian and chaired the Secretariat for Political Affairs Committee (SPA) aided by rapporteur Jesus Mario Rangel Valenzuela (sophomore, Biology and Pre-Med from Monterrey, Mexico). Lauren Lee (senior University Scholars major from Olathe, KS) and Jillian Anderson (senior, Journalism major from Houston, TX) ran the Secretariat for Administrative and Budgetary Affairs (SAF) as chair and rapporteur, respectively. Together they won Outstanding Awards as chair and rapporteur. Jillian Anderson was elected to be the 2016 Secretary General. In this year's competition, the Jamaica team won the Outstanding Delegation Award and Outstanding Position Paper award while the Venezuelan team won the Distinguished Position Paper Award. Andrew Salinas (junior History major from Houston, TX) Head Delegate for the Jamaican team won the Outstanding Ambassador award and the Outstanding Written Resolution for General Committee (GC) as well as being elected the president for the 2016 model. Clayton Jelinek (sophomore International Studies major from Broken Arrow, OK) won two Distinguished awards for his Written Resolution and as a Delegate on the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development (ESID). On Team Venezuela, Head Delegate Kelsey Shelton (senior International Studies major from Enfield, CT) won Distinguished Delegate in the GC. May Atassi (sophomore, Business and Finance major from Syria) won awards for Outstanding Budgetary Statement and Outstanding Delegate in SAF and was selected to represent Baylor University on the 2016 Student Steering Committee; and Rafael Silva Ramirez (freshman International Studies major from Queretaro, Mexico) received the Outstanding Delegate award in the Secretariat for Multi-dimensional Security (SMS). Other students representing Jamaica included: Amber Taylor(senior International Studies major from Burton), Co-Head Delegate Torin Peterson (sophomore Business Fellow from Rapid City, SD), Arianna Gomez (sophomore Community Health from San Antonio), Parker Wooden (freshman History major from Houston),Gabriela McCormack (junior International Studies major from Tucson, AZ), Hannah Luce (sophomore Pre-Business major from Golden, CO), and Kadie Mennell (sophomore Accounting major from New York, NY). Members of the Venezuelan team included:Ross McLaughlin (sophomore Political Science major from Dallas), Emily Kleinburg (senior History major from Kempner), Co-Head Delegate Marissa Rosario (senior Political Science major from Waco), Zachary Brynell (senior International Studies major from Ft. Worth), and Hallie Mayer (senior International Studies major from Chicago, IL).
After committee sessions were adjourned on Saturday afternoon delegates gathered together for dinner and fellowship at the Picard Center in Lafayette, Louisiana. Mr. John C. Roberts, Diplomat-in-Residence at the University of Houston gave the keynote address outlining the qualities needed to become a Foreign Service officer and the benefits of that career. Joshua Hyles a Baylor history M.A. (2010) served as Executive Director for the model. Mr. Hyles announced an expansion of the program including the addition of an academic conference for next year's twentieth model. Dr. Joan E. Supplee, Lynn Professor of History coached the Baylor teams.
The Baylor Team (Model Officers, as well as members of the Venezuelan and Jamaican Delegations)