MSU team takes top honor at Model UN competition

Nine Midwestern State University political science students earned Outstanding Delegation in the General Assembly Plenary Session of the 54th Midwest Model UN competition February 19-22 in St. Louis. This was the university's first time to participate in the competition.

Model UN is a simulation of United Nations debate in which students play the role of countries throughout the world as they develop solutions to international problems. The MSU team represented the small country of El Salvador. Team members were Emily Baudot, Julie Brady, Amy Brister (head delegate), Alexis Gay, Tiernan Harris, Brad Hunt, Madi Parker, Ian Potthoff, and Brandi Rhoads.

"I could not be more proud of these students, and their energetic initiative indicates that we will be more than prepared for the significant challenges facing the international community in the future," said Dr. Steve Garrison, faculty advisor.

In preparation for the contest, students were required to learn the history, politics, and economics of El Salvador and understand how they behave in the international arena. The team used this knowledge to respond to topics presented at the conference, including how to best address global health changes, the role of women around the world, the impact of climate change, use of chemical weapons, and disaster response.

In offering solutions to these topics, the MSU team's goal was to work through various committees to get proposals adopted by the General Assembly, which includes all UN member countries. To be successful the students had to develop alliances with other countries around the world based on the substance of these proposals and be on the side that successfully passed these resolutions, said Garrison.

"Students who were once shy and introverted quickly emerged as the strategic architects of the General Assembly. Their teamwork and coordination was like watching a finely tuned machine that was the driving force behind the conference activities," said Garrison.

As a result, the merit-based award was presented in recognition of the MSU's knowledge of El Salvador and successful influence of the solutions adopted by the full assembly.

"More happened this week than in the last two years," said MSU student Emily Baudot.

To learn more about Midwest Model UN visit www.mmun.org.

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