Model UN wins 15th year in a row

By Hannah Newman

Rider’s 2024 Model United Nations team brought home its 15th Outstanding Delegation award from the National Model UN simulation in New York City, the highest award in the conference representing Poland. 

The team has a 57-year history at Rider and has become a tradition, giving students a chance to participate in a simulation of what the United Nations does in real life.

Head delegate and senior global studies major Paola Carlesso said, “This year we were Poland and Poland right now was a really interesting country to be considering what is going on in the world. It was really nice to be considered a power player in a lot of the issues we were dealing with.”

 Students of all majors join with a hope to elevate their leadership and team building skills while representing their designated country and university.  

Delegates were partnered with different committees that represent various topics, some including social development, atomic energy and environmental refugee which diversified the student experience as they applied their skill sets to different parts of their country. 

Junior global studies major Nina Weber was a delegate for the Commission of Narcotic Drugs and explained that although not everything goes as planned, resilience is pivotal to the process toward success.

“This year was very hectic, we had some scuffles with some other delegates there because some schools that attend are getting graded but sometimes that’s just the name of the game,” said Weber. “You have to be able to figure out, ‘should I work with this delegate? Should I stay away from them? What is the overall vibe on the committee.’”

On April 16, the team hosted a teach-in where delegates discussed their experience at the conference and what they took away from it both as a group and individually.

Carlesso mentioned that a big takeaway for the team was learning the importance of being professional, which is essential to any area of discipline. 

“We really try to instill leadership to our delegates so that when they get to committee, they are able to be the ones who are leading the working groups and getting the work done,” said Carlesso.

Before attending the conference, each partnership in every committee must write a position paper, an essay that explains their designated country’s position on issues they are dealing with. 

The Model UN Environment Assembly won one Position Paper Award for their submission. 

“It didn’t feel real, the first thing we did was find Paola,” said freshman political science major Nick Smith. “Just being new [to Model UN] and winning that award was the most fulfilling reward of my life so far, I felt the stress of the entire week just leave my body.” 

Students who spoke at the teach-in highlighted that no matter where a student is in their college experience, Model UN is beneficial to all. 

Senior cyber security major Jarod Cox said, “Considering this is the first and only turn I’ll be doing Model UN since I’m graduating, it was really  incredible to be able to talk to so many people in a span of just a couple of days and feel like there was a sense of comradery. It [the experience] changed me so much to the point where I am so much more confident in talking to people in general and being myself.”

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