Sonoma State University’s Model United Nation students recently endeavored on an adventure that will impact them for the rest of their lives.
Over 5,000 students from all over the world gathered in New York City to submit and debate resolutions and solve global problems.
The Sonoma State student delegation represented the campus proudly and was presented three different awards for their abilities in debating on current real-world United Nations issues.
Model United Nations students were interviewed by the head of the program, professor Cynthia Boaz, and given the unique opportunity to travel across the country and represent the country of Cuba.
At the end of the interviewing process, 26 students were invited to participate in the National Model United Nations simulation that took place in New York City from April 13-17.
“I had a great time representing Sonoma State in the Model United Nations conference this year in New York,” said Nick Grave, junior and political science major. “I learned invaluable skills like using diplomacy to break language barriers and how to work together with all different ideologies to address worldwide issues like the need for sustainable development of biofuels.”
Representing Cuba is a challenge in itself due to its distinct geopolitics. Despite the challenge, the Sonoma State participants came prepared.
Model United Nations students interviewed the Cuban Permanent Mission to the UN and spoke with Cuban representatives about policies and current issues in preparation for the five-day conference.
Junior and political science major Mercedes Mack told the STAR, “Model UN highlighted my skills as well as my potential. It’s five days, completely out of your comfort zone, working with people from around the world, with very little sleep. By the end, I felt empowered, with a deeper understanding of politics and UN bureaucracy.”
The 26 students were divided into 13 committees that researched different topics.
These topics were deliberated and solved by all of the other nations present.
When asked what the most challenging part of being at the simulation, junior and sociology major Jackie Leon said, “Being able to collaborate ideas with other nations was the most challenging aspect of it, because at the end of the day, we just wanted a resolution.”
Sonoma State was presented three distinguished titles for their efforts: a Third Place Award for Overall Delegation, Best Position Paper Award for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Committee and Outstanding Delegate Award for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Committee.
Associated Students Fall 2014 President Anthony Gallino was among the 26 participants.
“The unique thing about Model UN is that it’s one of the few programs I’ve been apart of that directly links experiences outside of the classroom with what you learn inside the classroom. We need more of those programs at this institution,” said Gallino.
SSU celebrates its fourth year in attendance and ninth award at the National Model United Nations simulation.
Being that only 10 percent of all delegations present win awards, it is truly a proud moment for the university.
For more information on National United Nations visit www.nmun.org, or their Facebook page.