December 5, 2008
Model UN Team Competes In China
by Courtney Carnes
Samford’s Model United Nations team traveled to Xi’an, China for the first National Model United Nations (NMUN) competition held internationally, Nov. 22-29. Teams from more than 50 different schools in more than 10 different countries came together in Xi’an, the ancient capital of many Chinese dynasties, to discuss current problems that the United Nations faces on a daily basis.
Samford’s team—which attended the Xi’an competition thanks to a generous anonymous donor-- included Thomas Archer, Courtney Carnes, Erica Carr, Rachel Corr, Nathaniel Fuller, Misha Mitchell, Dianella Rangel and Alex Sconfienza. Samford history professor Will Womack accompanied the group in the absence of political science professor and team faculty adviser Andy Konitzer, who founded Samford’s Model UN program two years ago. All of the team members are enrolled in Konitzer’s International Organizations course.
To prepare for the competition, Samford’s team began practicing weekly in August. In the month leading up to the competition, students were required to attend weekend simulations. Team members also spent time researching Russia’s position on current issues within the United Nations, and students on each committee were required to write a position paper detailing Russia’s stance on the pre-selected topics that each committee would debate.
During the competition each school had a delegation representing a United Nations member country. Samford’s team had the privilege of representing the Russian Federation, an especially important country, given its permanent seat on the Security Council. Along with representatives on the Security Council, Samford also had students representing Russia in the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Committee, and the Special Session on Global Warming.
Samford’s Model UN team members have already begun preparations for a trip to New York for the largest of the NMUN conferences April 7-11, and are looking forward to the opportunity to represent Samford among some of the most talented college students in the world.