By Nicole Calacal
Rider’s Model United Nations (MUN) attended a conference in Washington, D.C. for the first time from Nov. 9-11.
Drew Gandham, a senior finance major and head delegate of the team, explained, “MUN is a simulation of the actual UN, where we are assigned a country and that country is put into different committees. Our goal is to address different topics that are facing the international community today. We attempt to solve those issues through working with people from other schools, who are representing other countries and try to come up with a solution to those topics and those issues.”
Although the team this fall was only comprised of a small group of returners, students who have been on the team in the past, the delegates’ previous experience and the hard work they put into representing Kuwait at the conference had earned them several awards.
Gandham proudly mentioned that Rider’s MUN was recognized as an honorable mention as a delegation.
Additionally, team leader Hannah Joudi, a sophomore political science major, and her partner Nicholas Mezza, a junior political science major, won Outstanding Position Paper in the General Assembly’s Second Committee, where delegates write a two-page paper explaining their assigned country’s position on different topics.
Jesse Flood, a senior finance major and a team leader, won Outstanding Delegate in the Food and Agricultural Organization, which was awarded to him by delegates from other schools.
“[Winning the award] was certainly not without difficulty. It was challenging, and it was a lot of hard work because you have to have other people decide that you’re deserving of something,” Flood said.
During the spring semester, the team attends a week-long conference in New York. However, the conference in Washington D.C. took place over the short course of three days and delegates had to adapt to the fast-paced environment.
“We had to get used to the pacing, which was something that really taught us a lot about coming in strong and coming in prepared from the get-go, and also the caliber of delegates was higher. A lot more people were prepared, ready and up for the challenge, so it also taught us to always be ready,” Gandham said.
Similarly, junior political science major Heili Carpino, believed it was good practice for the team in preparation for the spring conference next year. She was on the Security Council committee along with her partner Gandham.
Carpino had to go up against the P5 countries, which are the five permanent countries that are part of the Security Council, including the U.S., Russia and the U.K. She explained that it was difficult since the P5 countries are more powerful, and she and Gandham represented one of the smaller countries. However, once they got to Washington D.C., she knew they were prepared.
Gandham, Carpino and Flood mentioned they learned important skills, including communication, writing, researching, professionalism and, most of all, learning how to work with various people.
Gandham noted that students who attended the conference came from across the country and the world.
“Sometimes you have a little bit of a language barrier. We try to assist the people that are having issues and help them understand and make sure their point gets across. It’s fun and interesting to work with people of all different backgrounds and [who come from different] schools and people [who have] different majors,” Carpino said.
Flood said that attending the conferences has been a rewarding. experience for him.
“When you’re in there, you’re meeting people from around the world, you’re sharing experiences with them, and you’re working collaboratively on these issues that are not something that you think about everyday. You make those types of conversations. All of it can be a wonderful experience,” he said.
Published in the 11/28/18 edition.