Double the glory: Students win big at Model UN

By Lauren Varga

A weight was lifted off Head Delegate Serena Koelle’s shoulders when she heard Rider’s Model United Nations team screaming, “We got an award.”

The 16 hand-picked delegates from Rider represented Peru this past week at the National Model United Nations Competition in New York City for the 40th year; they proudly took home two awards: outstanding position papers and a distinguished delegation award.

“We worked so hard for the entire week,” said Koelle. “Just to know that it paid off was really
rewarding.”

According to Model UN Adviser Dr. Barbara Franz the group had received honorable mentions in the past, most recently in 2002, but never two awards at one time.

“To get two [awards] at once is just a really big honor,” said Koelle.

And Franz said she feels that in order to be successful “the whole group needs to be very strong.”

“There can’t be one weak link,” she said.

The awards are based on demonstrating rules of procedure, remaining diplomatic, staying in character and writing resolutions that are relevant to your specific country. Not only was this year different because the delegates received two awards, but they also received individual awards.

Rider’s 16 Model UN members split themselves into pairs of two and joined different committees. Rider represented Peru and focused on three main topics of discussion.

The country of Peru is responsible for representing itself on 10 different committees. Rider represented eight of those committees.

According to Koelle, last year’s delegates expressed interest in wanting individual committee awards. This year, representatives from within each committee voted to determine which delegation from that council stood out the most to them.

“We got two of those awards,” she said, “conference on disarmament, represented by seniors Serena Koelle and Anthony Coruccini; and Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), which was represented by senior Alyssa Ruggiero and junior Amin Wanczyk.

Because Rider was a Non-government Political Organization last year it could not sponsor resolutions or vote.

“It was a lot different for us this year,” said Koelle. “We were able to take a more active stance in the committees.”

In past years the team has had more time to prepare for the conference. However, this year the conference was moved up from April 10-14 to March 18-22.

But, in spite of the lack in time the Model U.N. team polled through and got the job done.

“I thought the team was much closer this year than we were last year,” said Koelle. “We all interacted really well together. Everyone understood that it was going ot be an overall team effort that was going to win an award.”

– Additional reporting by Olivia Tattory and Laura Mortkowitz

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