Harvard Contest

Monmouth Competes at Harvard Model United Nations Contest

The University’s United Na­tions (MUN) Team recently sent a delegation of 31 stu­dents to compete at the 66th session of the Harvard Na­tional Model United Nations, Feb. 13-16.

Kenneth Mitchell, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Political Science and Sociol­ogy and an associate profes­sor of political science, served as the faculty advisor on this trip.

“[The event] is the oldest and most competitive MUN contest in the world, and this year it attracted universities from 39 separate countries as well as 70 [more] from across the USA,” Mitchell said. “MU’s delegation represented the countries of Brazil, Aus­tralia and Mexico. MUN con­tests model the actual United Nations system, and students compete on different commit­tees – UN Economic & Finan­cial Committee, UN Human Rights Council, UN Commis­sion on the Status of Women, UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Jus­tice, World Health Organiza­tion, World Trade Organiza­tion, etc.”

Committees tackle specific world policy challenges, ac­cording to Mitchell. Students represent their respective countries while committees operate dependent on the roles of the United Nations system.

“The goal is to write policy resolutions that bring together different countries and bal­ance national interests to the benefit of the world,” Mitch­ell said. “The contest started Thursday evening and end­ed Sunday afternoon.”

MU’s Head Delegates (also known as Team Cap­tains), were Nicholas Boice, a senior political science major, and Payton Colland­er, a junior political science and criminal justice major.

“[London International Model United Nations] is for sure one of the harder conferences we compete at, being [it’s] one of the largest ones in Europe,” Collander said. “You are surround­ed by the most intelligent people from all across the world, all of whom are com­peting for one spot. I did not think I was going to win but it’s all about preparation and dedication. [The experience was] definitely a highlight in my life and an achieve­ment I will never forget.”

The University’s MUN team continued its four-con­test winning streak, as the team had previously never won an individual or team award at the Harvard con­test. MU team members won three individual speaker or “delegate” awards.

Paula Echeverria, crimi­nal justice major and team participant, detailed her time at the event.

“Boston was a great experi­ence and it was incredible to see new MUN team members bring home awards.”

Nick Yalch, freshman busi­ness major and member of the Honors School, repre­sented Brazil on the World Trade Organization (WTO). The policy’s challenge before the WTO was to “… construct global trade rules that help to combat climate change,” Mitchell said. “Currently, the WTO does not encourage ac­tion on climate change.”

Yalch wrote two critical contributions to the commit­tee’s final resolution, accord­ing to Mitchell, as the first detailed trade rules pertain­ing to ethanol and the second regarded trade rules focused upon measuring carbon, spe­cifically, helping to encour­age the WTO to recognize the carbon captures by rain­forests.

Madison Hanrahan, ju­nior political science major and James Goldbeck, senior biology major, represented Australia on the UN General Assembly Legal Committee that was tasked with design­ing legal architecture around the topic of Exploring the Rights and Limitations of Digital Citizenship.

“MU’s Model UN team and club wish to thank the Provost Office, the Honors School, the School of Hu­manities and Social Scienc­es, the Hess Business School, the Department of Political Science & Sociology, and SGA for their financial sup­port that made this trip and experience possible,” Mitch­ell said.

MU Model UN Team’s most recent contest was this past weekend, in London, United Kingdom. 15 students along with Kenneth Mitch­ell, Ph.D., and Professor Sam L. Maynard traveled to compete at the largest MUN contest outside of the United States.

“The MU MUN Team and Club are open to all under­graduate students and ma­jors,” Mitchell said. “London [has been] the fourth contest that our group has competed in this academic year.”

PHOTO COURTESY of Harvard University