BACK AT THE WASHINGTON MODEL AFTER A TWO-YEAR HIATUS
The Baylor Model Organization of the American States (MOAS) team returned to Texas this week after continuing its tradition of excellence at another academic model. Baylor MOAS has attended two conferences this year: The Eugene Scassa Mock OAS (ESMOAS) in the fall, and the Washington MOAS (WMOAS)in the spring. Both conferences have returned to in-person competition after a two-year hiatus. The team is excited to announce that it will host the ESMOAS on the Baylor campus this fall.
Baylor MOAS represented the Dominican Republic at this year’s WMOAS. The Washington model gives students the unique opportunity to debate critical international issues that the oldest regional political organization handles. 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, representing 26 countries.
In addition to their diplomatic duties, Baylor students had the opportunity to hear a virtual address by the OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro. They also shared a briefing at the United States Mission to the OAS with students participating virtually from Venezuela. MOAS alum Camryn Lutes, (The Woodlands, Senior, Political Science), who is interning with the U. S. Mission organized this opportunity. H.E. Ambassador Jousé Fiallo Billini Portorreal also briefed the students on country policies at the Dominican Republic Mission to the OAS. He answered questions from the students ranging from immigration and health care policies, tourism, and green development to regional security. He also discussed his previous work with the UN Security Council. Finally, he gave the students a tour of the Mission and shared his photographs of the Dominican Republic decorating the walls. Although the OAS building was closed to visitors, he arranged for and personally conducted a tour of the building, introduced the students to the Secretary General, and took them to the OAS Art Museum of the Americas. The Baylor team was the only team able to visit the building this year thanks to the Ambassador. He also recommended a Dominican restaurant for the team dinner. At the end of the conference, students also found time to visit monuments, museums, the zoo 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 Mikaela Sweet (Corpus Christi, Senior, History) and Logan Butler (Evansville, IN, Junior, University Scholar) led this year’s team. As members of the General Committee, Sweet and Butler joined Head Delegates from other universities in discussing the Paris Agreements, strengthening Electoral Processes, and protecting refugees. They also worked to solve a hypothetical invasion of Guyana by Venezuela.
Representing Baylor in the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs were Brittany LaVergne (Spring, Senior, History) and Celeste Rincon (Tomball, Senior, Political Science) who joined delegates debating political rights for indigenous peoples, securing freedom of the press and legal protections for transitioning and transgender individuals.
Michael Jordan (Harker Heights, Sophomore, University Scholar) and Colin Keele (Waco, Senior, Political Science) sat on the Committee for Hemispheric Security. This committee worked on energy and food security and global health threats to the Hemisphere.
The Committee on Integral Development handled issues related to education and income inequality, strategies to eradicate childhood diseases, and programs to protect water resources. Baylor students Mari Benavides (Los Indios, Sophomore, History) and Molly Dagley (Houston, Freshman, Political Science) sat on this committee.
New to the conference this year was the Special Committee on Post-Covid Reconstruction. In this committee, Vanessa Cham (Rockwall, Sophomore, Neuroscience) and Sam Joyce (McKinney, Freshman, International Studies) discussed eliminating corruption in the distribution of vaccines, creation of a Pan-American Vaccination Passport, and strategic plans for future pandemics.
Helping the administrative side of these committees were two rapporteurs who attended weekly virtual training session to prepare for the job. Julia Mendes (Hudson, NH, Freshman, Medical Humanities) and Kelly Wheeler (Dallas, Sophomore, Accounting) assisted the chairs of Integral Development and Special Committee, respectively, to facilitate debate, earning the gratitude of both chairs and delegates in the process.
The team had all its resolutions (five in total) approved for debate by the Faculty Review Committees, debated vigorously and passed in committee. Delegates also participated in lively debate over five joint resolutions, one for each committee and 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. It also wishes to thank the College of Arts and Sciences, the Center for Global Engagement, Lynae Jordan, and Jorge Vielledent for their help, patience, and support of the team this semester.
Baylor's MOAS Team with OAS Secretary-General Luis Almagro and H.E. Ambassador Josué Fiallo at the OAS Building April 14, 2022
Dr. Joan E. Supplee, Professor of History, Emerita, 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: Mikaela Sweet at Mikaela_Sweet1@baylor or Logan Butler at Logan_Butler1@baylor.edu