Joanna Norris, Associate Director
Department of Public Relations
The University of North Florida Model UN team took first place among more than 200 teams from universities all around the world at the Model United Nations Conference recently held in New York City.
UNF’s 12-person team represented the country of Honduras and was one of only 17 teams to receive the Outstanding Delegation award, which is the first-place honor. This was the team’s second time ever participating in the national conference, and the UNF team, consisting of 30 total members, has only been in existence for two years.
“I am so proud of our team of students and of their coach/advisor Laura Ache. The students receive no academic credit for all of their hard work, as many students from other universities receive, yet they earned the highest designation—Outstanding Delegation—given to fewer than the top 10 percent of teams,” said Dr. Mary Borg, director of the UNF Honors Program.
The UNF winning team is comprised of sophomores Logan Buzzell, Elizabeth Miller and Philip Sabado, all of the Westside, and Andres Tortolero from Venezuela; juniors Alexa Jenkins, Sarasota; Paige Lehman, Northside; and David Murphy, Tallahassee; seniors, Jose Barrientos, Colombia; Shanna Beech, Satelilite Beach; Eulamae Mombay, Southside; Amanda Moreira-Cali, Gainesville; and international exchange student Yolanda Perez Lacarcel, Spain.
Some of the other universities the UNF Model UN team competed against include Brigham Young University, Samford University, Syracuse University, College of Europe, Erasmus University Rotterdam, California State University, American University in Cairo and Florida Atlantic University, to name a few.
The National Model United Nations has established a number of criteria for evaluating delegation performance across all assigned committees. Each element—remaining in character, participating in committee and proper use of the rules of procedure—is equally important to the overall awards determination process. For delegations awards NMUN staff in each committee selects outstanding participants for each session.
The National Model United Nations competition is designed to allow students from various universities throughout the national and international community to represent countries that are current members in the acting United Nations. Each participating school is assigned a country and argues for resolutions based on their country’s point of view. Students write position papers, stating their country’s position on the issues chosen by the head of the conference and send them before the competition begins.
Once at the competition, students are assigned to committees in groups of two and sit in committees such as Security Council, Council on Women’s Issues, etc. They work with other countries and create resolutions that are voted on by the committee at large. Delegations (the team) are to stay in character the entire time, so they must work with countries and toward resolutions that are only what their assigned country would work toward, so teams must be prepare ahead of time. On the last day, student teams enter their resolutions into the pool to be voted on by all participating schools (countries) and lobby to get their resolutions passed.
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