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University of New Haven’s Model United Nations Team Takes Home Ten Awards
At a recent National Model United Nations conference in New York, the University of New Haven took home the top team award, as well as a team record seven best position paper awards. Douglas Gordon ’21, an international development and diplomacy major, reflects on the experience.
April 26, 2019
By Douglas Gordon ’21
The University of New Haven’s Model United Nations (MUN) team recently returned from a successful conference in New York. While earning an unprecedented number of awards signifies our level of achievement, the most important accomplishment was the significant level of personal and professional growth of each of our student delegates.
At this conference, the University of New Haven MUN represented the delegations from Mozambique and Saint Kitts and Nevis. The conference included delegates from all around the world, and more than 60 percent of the universities were international institutions.
At the conference, we collaborate with other delegates to solve real-world challenges through the creation of a draft resolution. These resolutions are shown to actual United Nations delegates to inspire future activity and to demonstrate the resolve and hard work of future diplomats.
MUN enables participants to meet students from around the world who are interested in the same topics. Before the conference begins, we spend time meeting students from the other delegations. Many of us have made long-distance friendships and maintain communication with them regularly, despite how far away they may live.
The conference consists of various committees that all deal with different topics. At this conference, I was in the General Assembly First Committee. This is the largest committee in the entire conference, so I knew there were going to be challenges throughout the week.
When the conference started, I was working with more than 30 delegates, representing delegations from the western hemisphere. This group expanded to become a group of approximately 50 delegates. Leading a large group like this was a challenge. I had to brainstorm a process to combine the ideas of all of the papers in a time-efficient manner, while keeping all of the delegates in the group engaged.
Collectively, our efforts resulted in 10 awards – the highest number of awards our program has ever received. Each committee gives two awards: the outstanding delegate award and the best position paper award. The outstanding delegate award is given to the delegates identified by their peers as hardworking, knowledgeable, and diplomatic. We had a first-time delegate win this award.
"Without MUN, I might still be that student who struggles to speak in front of groups and who second guesses himself when pitching an idea. I look forward to applying this confidence to all of my future endeavors."Douglas Gordon ’21
The position paper award is given to the delegations who write the best papers that detail a delegation’s position on each topic. We won seven position paper awards this year, which is more than we ever have received.
At the closing ceremony, the best delegations are recognized for their efforts throughout the conference. Our St. Kitts and Nevis team was awarded the Outstanding Delegation award, the highest honor. Our team representing Mozambique was awarded the second-highest honor, the Distinguished Delegation award. We were pleased because we worked tirelessly to prepare for the conference, and all of the work paid off.
After the conference was done, I felt an immense sense of accomplishment. Although I know that much of this growth could never have happened if I did not embrace the challenge and put in the hard work, I credit most of my growth as a person and as a professional to our MUN program. Without MUN, I might still be that student who struggles to speak in front of groups and who second guesses himself when pitching an idea. I look forward to applying this confidence to all of my future endeavors.