Political Science went to National Model UN Conference in New York

Daniel Wilcox, News Editor

During spring break, students who had being taking class PSC-256 during winter term traveled to New York City for the annual National Model United Nations Conference. This conference brings together over 5000 students from around the globe in one of the largest collegiate political simulations. Students had been preparing in classes all term to perfect their understanding of both the UN system and its workings and their knowledge about the country chosen for the college, The Republic of Haiti. Throughout the class, participants had to present their findings from the week and were assigned specific committees that focused on different topics, such as the environment, or nuclear disarmament. This meant that classmates had to work closely with each other in order to get a clear understanding of their roles, as well as to become a formidable team when attending the conference.

Being assigned The Republic of Haiti as their country of representation provided the students with the opportunity to learn about a country that few knew much about. This also led to the conclusion that Haiti would need to find support from much more powerful countries, such as the United States and China, in order for them to create legislation that a small country like Haiti could support.

Course instructor Professor Guillermina Seri commented, “Serving as an instructor for PSC-256 Model United Nations has been a new, challenging and enriching experience for me, not comparable to anything I have done before. The class, a simulation, centers on student autonomous research, technical writing, public speaking and teamwork, with the ultimate goal to prepare students to participate in the five-day NYC Model UN conference.”

Despite the hard work needed for the completion of this course, and the hands-on nature, students approached the work in a positive manner that allowed them to represent Haiti in a realistic way. During the term, a visit from Haitian-born Dr. Georges Eugene Fuoron, a professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, visited the college to provide his historical expertise on what life has been like and is like in Haiti, in order to provide students with a greater understanding of who they were representing. Armed with this first-hand perspective, the class was well-equipped to represent the best interests of the Haitian people.

At the actual conference in New York, the class split into their pairs and worked hard in their committees to work on, and sign papers that would support Haiti and provide the Haitian people the best opportunity to thrive and prosper. One of the students that took part in the class, Vicky Machuca ’22, said that she “really liked how professional it was, almost every person I worked with was over 20 and in a graduate or law program. The stakes felt higher and winning an award made it even more rewarding.”

The College came home with four awards for the position papers that had been written during the term and the success of the trip was felt by all participants.