‘Unwavering teamwork’ helps Model UN team earn 34 awards


UWO’s most senior Model United Nations delegation represented Kenya and includes, from left, Zoe Dahse, Coleman Korb, Josey Strand and Sydney Devitt.

Kate Sawyer, Reporter and Copy Editor

The UW Oshkosh Model United Nations team received a record-breaking 34 awards for their work, including rare recognitions, at the February Midwest Model UN conference.

The competition involved 400 students from 36 different universities and 12 different states. UWO represented seven countries at the conference.

Zoë Dahse, a senior international studies and political science major, is the president of MUN at UWO. Dahse says that her interest in MUN started when a student visited her class to share the benefits of the team. Her love for the team grew from there.

“I started on this team being coached by the late Dr. Kenneth Grieb. He instilled a working method on the team, motivating students to accomplish whatever they wanted as long as they worked hard for it,” Dahse says. “Year-round, our students are researching, writing and reading.”

This emphasis on hard work no doubt served the team well this year, as they earned eight Position Paper awards, five Honorable Mention in Committee awards, nine of only 20 Outstanding Delegation in Committee awards, seven of only 12 Delegate’s Choice awards and five Plenary awards.

The process sounds tiring, as Dahse describes what a day at the conference looks like.

“A typical conference schedule means being down to your committee around 8 a.m. and competing until roughly 9 to 11 p.m.,” Dahse says.

The students spend this time going from room to room discussing positions their assigned countries take on global issues. The team members are judged based on their speaking, writing and negotiation skills.

Zoe Dahse presents at the Model UN competition.

Dahse had the rare honor of receiving four awards during the conference including Outstanding Delegation of Committee, Outstanding Position Paper award, Delegates Choice award and Outstanding Delegation in Plenary. She was the only student to receive the quadruple sweep this year.

Dahse says she has come a long way since joining MUN.

“My first year I could not comfortably speak to a group of five people, and now I can speak to a group of 500. Outside of just learning about the international system which I love, MUN helps you grow as a person,” Dahse says. “The practices and drive that Dr. Grieb instilled in myself and other students continues to trickle down to new teammates each year.”

Dahse says the team’s success was definitely due to unwavering teamwork.

“Coming off our most successful Midwest competition in our team’s history, I would have to give credit to the hard work and dedication many of my teammates possess,” Dahse says. “You will only be as good as you want to be and you will only get out of Model UN what you put into it. The passion that this team has to learn and excel is our incredibly dominant trait.”

Dahse says that MUN team members apply what they’ve learned outside of competitions.

“Not only are our students successful in Model UN, but we strive to be the best we can be on campus and off,” Dahse says.