Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

UWO Model UN wins awards

Courtesy of Angela Subwula The UWO Model UN team poses at the Midwest Model United Nations competition, which was held last month in St. Louis.

UW Oshkosh’s Model United Nations (MUN) team received high honors at the Midwest Model United Nations competition in St. Louis last month, winning 24 total awards.

The competition featured almost 30 schools representing more than 50 countries. The delegates worked through topics such as nuclear testing, health literacy, disaster risk reduction and informal economies.

The UWO team represented five countries at the conference: Rwanda, Philippines, Tunisia, Norway and Liberia. In total, they passed more than 50 resolutions across a range of topics.

The UWO team won 10 delegate awards and five delegation-wide awards.

Rwanda and the Philippines received Outstanding Delegation Awards — the highest honor. Tunisia and Norway received Distinguished Delegation Awards, and Liberia received an honorable mention.

UWO’s delegates also earned nine individual delegate awards in committee: two outstanding delegate awards for Trenton Korth (the Philippines) and Elaina Swafford (Tunisia). There were two honorable mention delegate awards for Sebastian Vang (the Philippines) and Mason Sada (Norway). There were three position paper awards for Elizabeth Tisler (Liberia), Sebastian Vang (the Philippines) and Meg Traska (Rwanda). And there were two delegate’s choice awards for Meg Traska (Rwanda) and Soeum Claire Im (Tunisia).

Learning the topics, writing position papers, researching countries, practicing public speaking and learning the rules of procedure are all a part of preparation for a conference, Swafford said.

She also said that, out of the four conferences she’d been to, the St. Louis conference had the most productive and cooperative environment.

“Normally, I’ve experienced pushback from other delegates and working with a large group that made the writing and editing process longer, but that wasn’t the case at St. Louis this year,” she said. “Others had similar ideas to what my country, Tunisia, was interested in, so it led to the writing and editing process being quite efficient, but that’s not to say there isn’t any stress involved. It can get stressful even if you have a great group like I did.”

The issues discussed at the conference reflect real-world problems, and Swafford said that discussing these issues in MUN requires sensitivity.

“Other delegates I’ve worked with have been impacted by some of the topics we talk about, so I try my best to be empathetic and knowledgeable,” she said. “It’s important to understand these issues and to know what your country thinks of it, not yourself. It’s also important to be accurate about their position and also think about why they would take that stance in comparison to my own. It’s been rewarding to learn more about this as I feel I’m more aware of what is happening in the world and how it connects to my personal experiences and how I go about my life.”

Swafford said that the awards she and her colleagues won are a reflection of cooperation and hard work.

“In Model United Nations, you win conferences by being inclusive and working together with others from different schools, which is quite different from most sports. Winning in St. Louis continues to prove this to me,” she said. “I’m incredibly grateful to those previously on the team as we wouldn’t have the opportunities we have without them, and it shows that we’ve been doing something right in our strategy. Looking forward to New York, I’m hoping our team will be as successful as we were in St. Louis and I hope as an individual I can further develop my leadership skills.”

UWO’s MUN team is now preparing for the national MUN competition, which will be held between March 23 and 29 in New York City.

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