By Kaitlyn McCormick
AFTER five days of negotiation, diplomacy and sleep deprivation at the National Model United Nations simulation in New York City, the Rider University Model United Nations Team (MUN) has brought home its 14th Outstanding Delegation award, the highest award of the conference.
Senior health care policy major Katy Timari, head delegate of the team, expressed her pride in the group as they represented the country of Armenia on a handful of committees.
“Rider has a really long standing history of MUN. We’ve had a team for 56 years, and we’ve been “Outstanding Delegation” pretty consistently from the beginning of our team until now, so to carry that legacy is definitely something that I take a lot of pride in as head delegate and I know our team takes a lot of pride as well,” Timari said.
Junior global studies major Bobby Barbero and junior political science major Maria Castillo, who worked in the International Atomic Energy Agency committee, also won a Position Paper Award at the conference.
At an April 18 teach-in in Sweigart Hall 118, the members of Rider’s MUN team educated interested audience members of their experiences throughout the simulation. When asked what the most challenging part of the competition was, many chuckled when the answer was almost unanimously “staying awake.”
Team members who were partnered in committees spanning from general assemblies to those focused on environmental refugee or atomic energy concerns shared the skills that they learned and developed not only through their time in the competition but their training leading up to the New York City stay.
Angela Rizzo, a senior elementary education major, shared how asserting herself amongst competitors will help in the future as an educator.
“I thought it was such a great experience being able to lead a team,” Rizzo said. “I would definitely recommend [it] if you’re an education major [or] if you want to go into more of a leadership role to definitely join MUN.”
Over the course of the teach-in, students from all disciplines of year and major recounted their experiences, from challenges to positive takeaways.
Junior political science major Cecilia Simon said that as the team entertains a full itinerary, especially on what many members referred to as “Hell Wednesday” which lasts from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., keeping up endurance and decorum can be difficult.
“Keeping your energy up and keeping the quality of your work up, the quality of your speeches up and the quality of your diplomacy is not easy,” Simon said. “It is very difficult to come in on the last session with the same energy, the same drive and the same motivation.”
Senior political science major Devon Shaw, one of Rider MUN’s team leaders, shared her experience watching both first-time and experienced delegates grow throughout their preparation.
“Something that I’m really proud of is being able to see the team transform,” Shaw said.
She explained that the team starts in the fall with try outs and interviews, but it is also a class.
“It’s really interesting seeing these delegates transform from that first week of classes when they don’t even know wording from the speeches,” said Shaw. “We’ve taught them from basically nothing up until this whole semester how to become true MUN delegates.”