TCU’s Model United Nations team returned home with two awards of the highest honor for their performance this past weekend at the National Model U.N. Conference in Washington D.C.
Sophomore Christian Johnson and junior Kelsey Edwards received an award as “Outstanding Delegates” for their combined performance on the Security Council as representatives of South Korea, said Eric Cox, the director of Model U.N. at TCU.
The students who were part of the delegation representing South Korea were also awarded the highest-level award of “Outstanding Delegation.”
There are three levels of awards given out at the conference: the top level is outstanding, the second level is distinguished and the third level is honorable mention, Cox said.
The overall performance of a delegation in the aggregate factors into the scoring for awards, not just the outstanding performance of any single committee, said Delegate Tim Delabar, a junior international economics and political science major.
“Because it’s the average of each committees separate scores who were representing South Korea, everyone had to do pretty well for us to receive that award,” Delabar said.
This was Delabar’s third time competing at a Model U.N. conference. He said he has learned that no matter how much he prepares, he never fully understands how the conferences work until he gets there.
“We did a simulation the night before we left, and I think it helped a lot of people out in knowing what to expect even though it was about Rugrats,” Delabar said.
Daniel Diaz, a senior political science major, said his role as one of the head delegates this year, was to prepare the students by helping write their positions papers, prepare speeches and initiate conversations with other delegates.
The majority of the students on this year’s team were underclassmen who have never competed in a Model U.N. conference before, Cox said.
“[The process] is such a learning experience, you learn in our meetings, but once you are there you really learn. It’s hands on, you learn right away,” Diaz said.
Cox said the teams they take to the D.C. conference are typically younger and less competitive. The reason being largely a matter of experience, since they have not taken the two-semester U.N. course that is required for those who wish to attend the New York conference in the spring.
“They don’t have the close to three hours a week in the spring where they learn formal rules and procedures, at the depth that [the New York team] does.” Cox said, ”Nor do they have nearly as much pressure to do papers because they are not graded.”
Diaz said he has learned through his experiences at previous conferences that the best thing new delegates can do is not stress about the conference because they will learn there, and pick up it up as they go.
“Each time it is something different, a different country, different people—it’s always fun,” Diaz said.