Twenty members of the UMass Dartmouth Model United Nations club recently traveled to New York City for the National Model United Nations' (NMUN) New York Conference, where they won an outstanding delegation award. The group also partnered with 14 students from seven universities in Japan for a second delegation representing Finland, which won an honorable mention.
UMassD's delegates represented New Zealand, writing papers to find solutions on the climate refugee crisis, nuclear waste, arms nonproliferation, rights to adequate housing, sustainable energy infrastructure, and much more.
Between both New Zealand and Finland, delegates participated in the General Assembly, Economic and Social, International Atomic Energy Agency, Human Rights Council, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, U.N. Environmental Assembly, and Peace Building Commission committees.
"These awards symbolize the excellence the entire delegation demonstrated throughout the year preparing for the conference," said Model U.N. Co-President and senior political science major, Maxwell White. "This group brought their best and they earned this honor."
"These awards also mean that the students represented the true values of the United Nations," added Model U.N. Co-President and junior political science major, Nicole Kach. "They represented the university with the spirit of diplomacy, collaboration, and coming together to bring a better and brighter future."
Hosting Japanese students
A few weeks prior, the 14 Japanese students from universities including the International Christian University, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, and Keio University, toured UMass Dartmouth's campus on their way to New York for the competition, stopping to talk to UMassD students and administrators about their travels and plans for the conference.
"It felt awesome to welcome the group to our home, and it was incredible how receptive the community was to have them here," said White. "Each night we met for team-building work and preparing for the conference with speeches or simulations. We did a lot while they were here, and yet we all wish they could have stayed longer."
During their week-long stay, the group visited the New Bedford Whaling Museum and the Whitfield-Manjioro Friendship House in Fairhaven. They also got to attend two political science classes centered on international relations.
Model U.N.'s best performance to date
UMassD's Model U.N. club has participated in every NMUN New York conference since 2012, taking home honorable mention last year. In the fall, the group also attended the Washington, D.C. conference for the second ever time.
"This was definitely one of our best performances to date," said Kach. "We'd never won an outstanding delegation, and we've never had such a group of dedicated students attend NMUN before. We've also never had the honor of being partnered with another university, especially internationally. All of those things combined created the best possible outcome for our team, and has given the team the aspirations that we can do anything we put our minds to.
"The NMUN Washington D.C. conference was a massive success for everyone who went, and really gave freshmen and new delegates an understanding of what's to take place in New York. We are fully committing to attending the 2024 New York conference and are also considering participating in the NMUN Germany conference in November. Although it would take a lot of effort and planning, this is something that would be especially important for our senior members and those who have demonstrated a passion for the United Nations."
Join Model U.N.
The Model U.N. club and its leadership positions are open to both undergraduate and graduate students of all majors and programs. Students interested in joining UMassD's Model U.N. club can reach out to the newly elected Co-Presidents, Nicole Kach at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Daniel Flores, at email@example.com for the next academic school year.
The Model U.N. club's faculty advisor, Peter Sandby-Thomas, Associate Teaching Professor of political science, teaches a Model U.N. class (PSC 284) every fall semester. Registration is currently open for the fall of 2023.
Model U.N.'s 2022-2023 executive board consists of Co-Presidents Maxwell White and Nicole Kach (political science), Vice President Jessica Mansour (political science), Treasurer Lincoln Karle (computer science), Secretary Daniel Flores (political science), and Social Media Coordinator Anand Kuro Andengattil (computer engineering).