Students Win Honors at National Model UN

April 3rd, 2014 | Categories: Uncategorized

Model UN Delegation members (l. to r.) Jean-Paul Scott, Kirsten Sauer, Pat McKeage and Ryan Hendrickson

Fifteen SUNY Oneonta students spent part of their spring break at the National Model United Nations Conference in New York City from March 30-April 3. This year’s delegation, representing Côte d’Ivoire, was one of 28 groups from around the world selected to receive the Distinguished Delegation award at the end of the five-day conference. This is a high honor, placing the Oneonta delegation in the top 10 percent of participants.

In addition, Oneonta students Ryan Hendrickson, Ian Misrok, Hope Costa, Rachel Heejeung, Ma Shane Magnetti and Egzon Sulejmani were recognized for writing the best position papers in their respective committees, and two students were chosen for conference-wide leadership positions: Kirsten Sauer (Chair and Rapporteur, UN Security Council C) and Eileen Austin (Rapporteur, UN Population Fund).

Over the course of the spring semester, students prepared for the simulation by learning about Côte d’Ivoire’s international and domestic politics, contemporary issues, and the United Nations’ committee system and operating procedures. Once at the conference, they debated proposals put forth to address these issues from the perspective of diplomats of their assigned country. U.S. ambassador to the UN Samantha Power gave the keynote address for Sunday’s opening session.

“This experience taught me that people from all over the world with many different cultures and backgrounds can come together to achieve something great,” said Costa, a political science major from Hurleyville, N.Y. “I will never forget the relationships I developed and the life skills that I learned.”

Freshman Jean-Paul Scott said the trip allowed him not only to learn more about others and their cultures, but to grow as a person. “It’s a great experience that opens your eyes to the world and helps you become cognizant of how connected and even disconnected the world is sometimes.”

The Model UN delegation is advised by Dr. Brett Heindl of the Department of Political Science. Funding for the program was provided by the Office of Continuing Education, the Political Science Department and the students themselves. Some of the students also received travel funding from the Caroline and David D’Antonio Undergraduate Student Travel for Excellence Fund.