By Rachel Stengel
The prospect of a fourth consecutive win for Rider’s Model United Nations (UN) team looks strong as a team member took home one of the four awards during the annual conference held at The City University of New York’s (CUNY) Baruch College on March 2, according to the team’s head delegate Madiha Latif.
Senior political science and business major Alexandra Lipari received the Distinguished Delegate award for her performance and representation of Pakistan at the conference.
“Truthfully, it felt like I had won the lottery to win this award,” Lipari said. “You can ask the whole team, I turned beat red and thanked everyone I saw. The monitors and the dais even personally congratulated me. I had never done anything Model UN related so it was just so amazing to get those compliments.”
Approximately 70 students from six colleges participated in the conference. It was a practice-run for the conference in April at UN headquarters, Latif said. She hopes Rider can win the top two awards, Outstanding Position Papers and Outstanding Delegation, for a fourth year in a row.
“The team looks strong this year,” Latif said. “I had the honor of leading the award-winning team last year and learned that the most important factor contributing to our success was our team spirit and team unity. I tried to instill that in our team this year and fortunately, have been able to bring together a very tight knit group. We all really work hard together and help each other out. I’m very hopeful about bringing back the top two awards again for the fourth time in a row.”
Model UN allows students to replicate a debate within the UN. Each team represents a different country and seeks solutions to best fit its country’s needs.
The team will represent Iran during April’s conference at UN headquaters. Latif said that representing a country that is frequently in the world’s spotlight provides unique challenges in preparation for April.
“As [the team will be representing] Iran, we may and are actually looking forward to having a difficult time as we are a very controversial country,” Latif said. “Iran is in the bad books of players. The United States, the European Union and Israel have been threatening [Iran] to go to war. So we will really need to come up with a way to hold up really strong against these superpowers.”