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W&M students excel at World Model U.N. Conference

  • The winning team
    The winning team  A team of William & Mary students placed second in the world and was named best United States college delegation at the 2010 Harvard Model United Nations Conference in Taipei, Taiwan.  Courtesy photo
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A team of William & Mary students placed second in the world and was named best United States college delegation at the 2010 Harvard Model United Nations Conference in Taipei, Taiwan.

William & Mary’s International Relations Club sent fourteen delegates to the conference March 14-18 to compete against over 200 international WorldMUN teams.

According to its Website, “Model United Nations simulates United Nations, International Organizations, and governmental bodies such as the World Health Organization, the African Union, and government cabinets.” Participants in the conference are assigned to represent nations, organizations, or international leaders in order to debate pressing issues throughout the world.

“WorldMUN has been one of the greatest opportunities of my William & Mary experience,” said Jimmy Lewis ’10, head delegate of the team.

Each year, the College sends students interested in international relations to several Model United Nations conferences. WorldMUN is highly competitive for students seeking a spot on the team and even more competitive at the international level.

The International Relations (IR) Club takes students to the WorldMUN competition annually, and in the past, students have attended conferences in Beijing, China, Puebla, Mexico and The Hague, Netherlands. In each of these conferences, William & Mary students have either taken the title or placed in the top five.

“It was truly a great experience. The team definitely broadcasted Tribe Pride in Taiwan,” said Kedar Pavgi ’11, director of finance for the William & Mary IR Club.

Along with winning second overall, many of the teams won for their committees. Students represented the Disarmament and International Security, Social, Cultural and Humanitarian, United Nations Security Council, Special and Decolonization, Historical General Assembly, Legal Committee, International Atomic Energy Agency and International Monetary Fund Committees.

WorldMUN’s purpose is also to help student participants to “develop negotiation skills, learn effective communication skills and form solutions with peers from around the world, as well as broaden one’s perspective on a variety of international topics.”

“Much of the WorldMUN experience is about meeting with peers from around the world to discuss imperative global issues. Where else can college students discuss nuclear proliferation with such a diverse group of people?” Lewis noted.

Along with debating and competing with teams internationally, many William & Mary delegates formed friendships with students from international teams.

“I was eating lunch and dinner with people from Germany, Taiwan, Belgium, France, Venezuela, and many other countries all throughout the week,” said Pavgi. “It definitely broadened my perspectives on the world, and provided me a learning experience beyond anything that a book could give.”

The students felt a great sense of pride in their accomplishments, and for some, this was a momentous conclusion to their WorldMUN experience here at the College.

Lindsay Brannan ‘10, president of the IR Club remarked, “This was my third and last WorldMUN. Over the last two months, I have learned so much from each of my team members, and I am proud of each and every one of them.”