Awarded Best Model U.N. Team

by Kathryn Sill, Public Relations Writer

For the first time in the history of the National Model United Nations (U.N.) conference, Cedarville University’s model U.N. team captured the highest award. The Cedarville team claimed the “Outstanding Delegation” award at the event held in New York March 29-April 2.
Cedarville has been attending this conference — known to be the highest level of intercollegiate Model United Nations competitions in the country — for five years.  More than 3,000 students from 250-plus universities from across the nation and around the world participate. In addition to the team honor, six of Cedarville’s 16 students gained individual honors. The individual honors were divided up into three teams. Each team was to prepare a paper that focused on a topic specific to its committee. While every participant at the conference submits a paper, only the top submissions are recognized.
The first individual team consisted of Alex Xayathone, a senior international studies social sciences major from South Charleston, Ohio, and Sam Isner, a senior finance major from Galena, Ohio. They presented on the General Assembly Third Committee (GA3). The second individual team consisted of Elise Parsons, a junior English major from Cedarville, Ohio, and Ariana Cheng, a senior international studies social science major from Centerville, Ohio. The second team’s paper was on the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference Committee. The third individual team consisted of Tyler Hanley, a sophomore political science major from Pekin, Illinois, and Laura Tice, a junior secondary social studies education major from Birmingham, Alabama. They presented on the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The three committees awarded these six Cedarville delegates the award for “Outstanding Position Paper.”
To receive an individual award, all team members must submit a position paper prior to the conference. These papers are judged on the level of analysis, research and accuracy on representing the team’s assigned country. Team awards, however, are based on the quality of every member’s performance at the competition.
“To get into the highest level, a delegation must have all team members giving standout effort within their respective committees,” Carson Doyle, team co-captain and senior business management major from North Rose, New York, said. “In a crowd of almost 400 people, you have to come across as one of the most competent, diplomatic leaders to be recognized.”
The team advisor is Frank Jenista, Ph. D., who was a diplomat for 25 years before returning to Cedarville University as professor of international studies.
Each year at this competition, the Model U.N. teams represent a country, and this year Cedarville was assigned Mongolia. Then, the teams participate in a mock negotiation as a delegate for their country. Teams are responsible for knowing their countries policies on the specific topic of research, the country’s voting records and U.N. voting records, with hopes to form allies. The competition begins in the morning and can go until late at night – and continues for four days.
Kelly Parliament, team co-captain and senior international studies major from Wixom, Michigan, had the opportunity to walk around some of the committees and watch her team’s performance. Parliament said she was genuinely pleased by her team’s work ethic and the way they represented Cedarville University.
“We put Cedarville's name out there at a national conference with hundreds of schools from quite literally all over the world,” Parliament said. “We have upheld Cedarville's record of excellence and represented the university well.”
“I would love to see the team continue to build off of this success,” Doyle said. “We've achieved a benchmark year, but there is still room for improvement. I'd love to see the team expand in size and perhaps compete at additional conferences.”
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,620 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings.