Model U.N. group takes high honors at conference

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    TCU’s Model United Nations chapter took home the second highest ranking last week in a competition against 200 schools in New York City. Model U.N. is a simulation of the United Nations that aims to help students learn how the United Nations actually works, said Lily Toner, head delegate for TCU’s Model U.N. chapter.

    At the National Model U.N. Conference, delegations from each school were assigned a different country, she said.

    This year, TCU’s chapter represented Egypt, said Kara Floyd Griffin, a senior psychology and criminal justice major who was a delegate.

    The head delegate runs meetings, where speeches on pertinent topics are given and important issues are debated, said Toner, a junior political science major.

    TCU’s Model U.N. was awarded Distinguished Delegation, an award based on a delegation’s ability to represent their respective country by remaining in character, participating in committee in formal sessions and caucusing, and properly using the rules of procedure, said Eric Cox, director of Model U.N. at TCU.

    This accomplishment is important because this is only the third year TCU has had a Model U.N. chapter, and it was the first time for many students to attend the conference, said Cox, a political science lecturer.

    Cox said TCU competed with about 200 other schools, including the University of Texas at Austin and Austin College.

    Many of the schools at the conference, including University of Texas at Austin and Austin College, have participated in the event for several years without winning an award, Toner said. TCU won this award after only three years of participation, she said.

    The group was basically judged on how well they were able to get into character of their assigned country, she said.

    Toner said she feels the 22 delegates that represented TCU won because they worked hard since August and were well prepared.

    “The delegates really did their research,” Toner said. “They were very passionate this year.”

    Students who attended the conference gained valuable educational experience by discussing problems faced by the world today, Cox said. These include obstacles to economic development, responses to natural disasters and global debt, he said. “The multitude of view points makes finding agreement difficult, just as it is in the real United Nations,” Cox said.

    Model U.N. is a good program for students in the United States to see how countries interact from a different perspective, said Griffin. “The award reflects the ability of our students both to learn information about complex problems and to develop the diplomatic skills necessary to represent their assigned country’s position on the issues,” Cox said.