Model UN team ranks 5th in nation

Ethan Roberts, FIU MUN team program director, made the All-Star Team. He believes the program is a great asset for students to work on problem-solving techniques.

By Ezita Rodriguez/Contributing Writer

The University Model United Nations Team ranked better than some of its Ivy League competitors this year, ranking fifth in the nation on the list of North American College Rankings for 2013-2014 on bestdelegate.com.

According to their website, “Best Delegate created the North America College Rankings to find out which team is the best on the circuit and to recognize teams for their accomplishments across conferences throughout the school year.”

The list consists of twenty five colleges and universities, and there is also a list of top 50 and top 75.

Among the top five are: University of Chicago, Georgetown University, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania and Florida International University.

Others mentioned on the list include the United States Military Academy at West Point coming in sixth, Yale University in seventh, Columbia University in ninth.

The FIU Model United Nations Team is also represented in the Model United Nations All-Star Team for the 2013-2014 year, with three University students listed as all-stars.

The students were nominated by their universities and were placed on the All-Star Team based on overall votes from all participants, according to a best delegate representative.

“The College MUN All-Star Team should be representative of the best and most respected leaders in the community,” according to the all-star team page. “They are diplomatic and skilled in committee, help strengthen the relationships between schools, provide thought leadership, and make the Model UN experience better for everyone.”

Mark Hodgson, a recent graduate and former program director for the FIU MUN team, Ethan Roberts, the current program director and Anthony Mercado, a recent graduate, each made the All-Star Team.

“To me, the Model United Nations is invaluable. It gives students a chance to practice problem solving, diplomacy and effecting change in the world,” said Roberts, a senior international relations major.

The entire MUN experience takes place throughout different conferences, where students compete in different committees as they are presented with different cases.

Some cases involve past events such as the Berlin Conference of 1882, or a future scenario in which students must play the role of the U.S. secretary of state, Roberts said.

The conferences this year took place at Harvard, West Point and the University of Chicago, and students were able to practice foreign policy and meet special guests to learn from their experiences.

“Guest speakers from major think tanks, important government posts and ground breaking NGO’s share their experiences and visions with us,” Roberts said.

FIU MUN’s former director and recent alumnus Hodgson said that being part of the team served as a valuable experience.

“Being involved and having the opportunity to lead and be a part of the Model United Nations has been the most memorable experiences in college,” said Hodgson, who received his  bachelor’s degree in both International Relations and Political Science.

After finding out they ranked number five on the college rankings, Hodgson said he felt it was a huge honor.

“A huge privilege and honor,” he said. “Our delegates deserved it for all their hard work.”

Hodgson said that many students involved with MUN work, are enrolled full time and dedicate up to 20 hours of study time in the library to prepare for competitions.

The FIU MUN team will be hosting a summer committee simulation on July 19 and 20, where they will recruit new members. Students interests should send in an application to save a spot in the simulation.

news@fiusm.com

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