Michaela Lumpert, Campus Carrier Staff Writer
|PHOTO COURTESY OF KARLA MANZANARES|
|Berry Model United Nations members (left to right, front row) Junior Momo Abdellatif, sophomore Coleman Ott, junior Devon Powers, (left to right, back row) freshman Tasha Mwangi, senior Bertha Nibigira and junior Karla Manzanares|
Last week, the Berry College Model United Nations (UN) club took a trip to New York to compete in the National Model UN Conference. They competed against teams from across the United States, and even some teams from China and Canada. Over the course of the week, delegates from the club competed in a variety of committees representing different countries in a large mock UN conference.
“Our delegates did well overall,” Kristen Taylor, faculty adviser of Model UN, said. “We are just a club especially in the spring, and other schools are preparing an entire year to go, so there’s some tough, good competition out there.”
While they did not win any awards for outstanding delegate, junior Momo Abdellatif won a position paper award for his paper on the stance of Liberia.
On the last day of the conference, some of the delegates were chosen to sit in the actual room where the UN meets and discusses different topics relating to world issues.
“The highlight for most of us is definitely going into the UN,” junior Karla Manzanares said. “We sit in our country’s seats, vote just like the delegates would vote, and get to see our votes light up on the large board in the room.”
This was Manzanares’ second time going with the club, and her first time going as an officer of the club.
“I also love seeing the underclassmen improve, and gain public speaking skills,” she said.
Sometimes heading to these conferences is scary for underclassmen, but Manzanares is excited to see their hard work pay off and their skills improve with each conference.
Not only was the conference enjoyable, Manzanares said that the group grew closer over the course of the week.
“It’s really fun going, but we also grew closer as a group of people who enjoy international politics,” she said.
Junior Sam Krauskopf also went on the trip and described her experience of making new friends.
“We aren’t all political science or international studies majors, so it’s fun to make friends with people you wouldn’t normally see on campus,” Krauskopf said.
The club is made up of a variety of majors including some business and animal science majors.
Krauskopf is also excited to see what the future brings for the club.
“We have some pretty good upperclassmen coming to us, telling us that they want to join the club,” Krauskopf said. “It’s going to be good to have a nice mix of upperclassmen and underclassmen in the club.”
The club meets once a week, spending most of the time working on position papers and creating mock trials for new students to learn and for older students to practice before heading into conferences.
“We do two conferences a year, one in the fall and one in the spring,” Taylor said.
The club hopes in the future that they can attend different conferences held internationally.
“Students that are interested should definitely get involved in the fall, either by talking to me or our officers,” Taylor said.