The FIU Model United Nations (UN) team was named “Best Small Delegation” in two national competitions this month — the Columbia Model United Nations in New York (CMUNNY) and Boston Area Model United Nations Conference (BarMUN).
The conferences were the first two of the season and leading up to the University of Pennsylvania Model United Nations Conference, the most competitive conference of the fall.
“Two ‘Best Small Delegation’ awards in a short week is no easy task,” said Ana Portal, program director of FIU Model UN. “We have been practicing since August with the objective of winning team awards. We have a new group of hungry delegates with a passion for foreign affairs and finding solutions to international problems.”
For its seventh annual season, CMUNNY welcomed delegates from 29 national and international institutions, including Harvard University, Princeton University, Stanford University, Emory University and the University of Florida. Hosted by Columbia University, the conference took place from Oct.4-7. FIU’s delegation was made up of 12 students, including six first-time delegates. Three FIU delegates received first place at the CMUNNY conference, including: Nick Aquart, Best Delegate in G-20 Summit 2012; Javier Navas, Best Delegate in Latin American Revolutionaries: Congress of Angostura-Cucuta, 1819; Mark Hodgson, Best Delegate, Basque Nationalist Leadership Summit, 2006.
Three days later, 11 FIU Model UN delegates traveled to Boston University for the fifth annual BarMUN conference. This time, more than half of the FIU students were first semester delegates. BarMUN is the only dual track, integrated crisis conference on the Model UN circuit where half of the committees addressed historical topics and the other half addressed modern issues. This is the first dual-track, integrated crisis conference FIU Model UN has attended.
“Our veterans and senior leadership worked hard to impart their knowledge into the new delegates, who worked equally as hard to receive it,” said Aaron Heria, FIU Model UN program director. “Our advantage lies with the team’s diverse background, comprised of an array of ethnicities and academic disciplines. The only thing we initially had in common was talent and perseverance. As we work and grow together, our world views continue to broaden.”
The FIU Model UN Program is a political science course that provides an interactive environment engrossing students in the different aspects of political and international affairs. It is supported by the College of Arts & Sciences, School of International and Public Affairs and Student Government Association.