Students Negotiate International Issues at Event
Model U.N. Chapter Celebrates 2 Best Delegation Awards, 1 Best Position Paper
Nov. 10, 2010
College students may not always be diplomatic, but a group of UT Dallas undergraduates are mastering the fine art of international politics.
UT Dallas’ chapter of Model U.N. recently won several awards while participating in the National Model United Nations simulation in Washington, D.C., in late October. Twenty-nine UT Dallas students took part in the event, representing Pakistan, France and Norway.
Dr. Marie Isabelle Chevrier
The UT Dallas undergraduates came from programs throughout the campus, though most of the students are pursuing degrees in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences. Dr. Marie Isabelle Chevrier, director of the master’s program in public policy, is the local chapter’s faculty sponsor.
The conference welcomed about 500 students from universities around the nation. UT Dallas won more awards than any other school, Chevrier said.
“Model U.N. is one of the most important experiential education experiences that our outstanding undergraduates can participate in,” she said. “The students have to step into the shoes of being from a country other than the United States and see global issues from a different perspective. In order to be successful, they must be cooperative, take the views of others into account and be persuasive.”
Before attending mock conferences, students do research on their countries as well as issues within the U.N. committee to which they are assigned. Topics range from nuclear proliferation to vaccines to the problems of land-locked countries.
Among the honors that UT Dallas participants earned were:
- Honorable mention for the entire delegation of 10 students from “Pakistan.”
- Braeden Mayer and David Petty won best delegation in the second committee of the General Assembly.
- Rafael Babadzhanov and Maija Wallace won best delegation in the Commission for Narcotic Drugs.
- Saskia Versteeg and Anthoiafred Okafor won best position paper in the Committee for Sustainable Development.
In addition, Shubham Manchanda was invited to serve as assistant director of the Commission for Narcotic Drugs, based on his performance in previous Model U.N. simulations in Washington. Dionna Budd, Sara Muehlenbein and Sofia Joseph were the head delegates for the local chapter.
Petty, a junior majoring in emerging media and communications, said Model UN has provided some of his best college experiences.
“The program really benefits students because it’s one of the few ways where you can go through the process of extensive preparation and studying and then actually get a chance to apply it to a virtual real-world setting for three days with other students outside of your university,” he said. “It’s just really neat how it all comes together and gives you a chance to thrive in a new environment.”