Ursinus delegation to National Model United Nations brings home distinguished delegation award
Consistent with the United Nations’ goal to make the world a better place, a delegation of Ursinus College students participated in the National Model United Nations (NMUN) Conference on April 3-6, discussing global concerns and proposing solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues.
For the first time since the pandemic, Dr. Becky Evans, associate professor of Politics and International Relations, led 18 Ursinus students to the National Model UN Conference in New York and returned with a distinguished delegation award representing Indonesia, one of the highest designations Ursinus has ever received.
“At Model UN, students act as diplomats for their assigned nation within a particular UN committee. Cooperative, hands-on learning allows students to confront a range of topics from pandemic preparedness and international security to gender rights and economic development,” said Evans when asked for an overview of the program. “Students develop an appreciation of differing viewpoints, experience the challenges of negotiation, see the rewards of cooperation, broaden their world view, and discover the human side of international relations and diplomacy,” according to Evans.
Under the leadership of head delegates, Hira Khattak ’23 and Olivia Negro ’23, Ursinus students joined with 2,500 other students from almost 100 countries to better understand the inner workings of the United Nations and other international organizations. Students prepared draft resolutions, plotted strategies, negotiated with supporters and adversaries, resolved conflicts, and navigated the UN’s rules of procedure – just as Member States in the UN do.
Ean Chasinoff ’24 shares, “I realized that, while it may be frustrating to constantly compromise and debate, these are the actions that lead to actual results, and they should matter to everyone who cares about the principles they extoll. If what matters to me is people and their well-being, I must also value cooperation over my ego and seek to work with other people even when it forces me to adapt.”
While at the conference, students not only gained insight into the intricacies of diplomatic negotiations and global politics but also learned firsthand about possible career paths in foreign policy. Students found the chance to personally meet with alumni very rewarding. “I loved getting the opportunity to meet Ursinus alums Paul Cottam ’19 and Carolyn Strainic ’11, who both work in New York City at the United Nations, and hear about their experiences as Ursinus grads in the field of international relations and foreign policy,” said Negro.
The Model UN conference builds real-world skills—strengthening participants’ speaking, debating, and writing abilities, while also honing critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership skills. Ursinus students left New York City with the tools and experiences that will help prepare them to be the next generation of global leaders.
Interested in learning more? Having participated in Model UN conferences since 1966, Ursinus has sent a delegation to the National Model UN in New York City for over 50 years. Students who wish to be a part of this rich history can contact the faculty adviser of the program, Dr. Johannes Karreth, associate professor of Politics and International Relations. All majors are welcome!