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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

UC Davis Model United Nations makes program history

The UC Davis Model United Nations (MUN) team returned from the UCLA MUN national conference, held from April 3 to April 6, with seven individually-won awards, the most Davis MUN has ever earned at an away conference.

MUN promotes debates and public speaking in its student-led organization, and conferences resemble the format of the United Nations.

“Our club is a great resource for anyone who wishes to become more informed in global news, advance their interpersonal skills through public speaking and debate and for simply expanding their social circle and meeting new people,” said David Robinson, head of delegate preparations.

The team also took home seven awards at the UC Berkeley MUN national conference in San Francisco from March 5 to March 9. Every UC Davis delegate earned an honorable mention, each beating out the rest of the delegates within their committees.

At both the UCLA MUN and UCB MUN, the UC Davis team competed against schools from all over the country, such as Georgetown, Harvard and University of Pennsylvania.

More than half of UC Davis’ awards were earned by some of the newest members of their team.

“Out of the seven awards in LA, four of them went to underclassmen and that is something I am so excited to see where they’re going,” said Sana Sareshwala, the DMUN vice president who also earned a third place Commendation award at both conferences.

With such success, the team decided to come up with a new strategy to strengthen underclassmen members as well as intensify practices to maintain progress.

“There will be more rigorous training and preparation in the future so as to more fully prepare everyone,” said Daniel Goldstein, DMUN president. “Specifically, we will likely have a simulated debate each week where club members can practice debating and hone their skills.”

Although previous conference results proved to be based on politics and favored schools traveling greater lengths, the UC Davis delegates’ undeniable talents were difficult to ignore this time around.

“People have started noticing that Davis Model UN is very reputable and is a very good team so we are earning more of a prestige from other schools,” Sareshwala said.

According to Sareshwala, the team has never won as many awards in at least the past seven years and is confident that its tremendous victory was a first in UC Davis MUN history.

Compared to past conferences, the delegates attended the UCLA and UCB conferences with more of a competitive mindset, reflecting their high spirits from rigorous training and practice.

“MUN at UC Davis has a lot of potential but until recently, we approached conferences in a slightly more relaxed manner,” said Hannah Neil, head of college conference and winner of second place Outstanding award. “This time around, we were confident in ourselves and knew we could step up to the plate.”

The team attends five to six conferences each year, and the recent UCLA delegation marked the final one. However, delegates Robinson, Goldstein and Neil will attend the Paris International Model United Nations (PIMUN) conference from May 22 to May 25.

The team will also host its first national conference in January 2015 in Sacramento.

“This will be our first year providing a conference at this level of competition, and will hopefully be the foundation for a national-level conference in years to come,” Neil said.

NICOLE YI can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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