by Amber B. Carter
The Model U.N. Club is looking for upper-classmen who have a passion for political policies.
The group is not only a club but is also a well-run machine, said senior Mike Segal, head delegate and team member since fall 2006.
“Model U.N. is not actually a club,” Segal said. “It’s more like a team because without working together we wouldn’t get anything accomplished.”
It is essential for the team to work well together. Among the duties of head delegate Segal and co-captain, senior Jesse Forsythe, are recruiting members, training them and making sure all the members understand what is going on.
In addition to those duties, Segal serves as a spokesman for the group during the competition. Model U.N. is also a 200 level class that is worth three credits.
Since it is a three-credit class, the team is required to meet for three hours a week, and will meet next semester every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Most of the spring semester is spent preparing for a competition in New York that involves many different schools and students of diverse backgrounds.
Members of each school are assigned to negotiate and represent different countries.
“For a week the teams get to go to New York in character as their country, and meet with other students who are also in character from all over the world,” said Dr. Barbara Franz, political science professor and Model U.N. adviser. “It is a great experience for a student to learn self awareness, self consciousness [and] to speak freely.”
Franz has been the adviser for three years, but her role is very limited, she said. With the exception of answering a few questions on content about policy issues, she tends to stay in the background because Model U.N. is student-driven.
Although the team has a list of 10 countries, the students will not know the country they are to represent until the Model U.N. Organization informs them.
Overall, Franz is optimistic about the competition. Despite only knowing the leaders of the team, she believes it is entirely up to the students.
Last year, the Rider team won two awards: Outstanding Position Papers and Distinguished Delegation. It also placed in the top 20 out of 250 schools.
“I hope they progress along the road,” said Franz.