Monmouth University’s Model UN Team received five awards at the King’s College London Model UN competition. The contest, which is the largest Model UN competition in Europe, began Friday, Feb. 21 and ran through Sunday, Feb. 23. This win comes just after the team took home three individual/delegate awards at the Harvard Model UN competition earlier this month. This last win in London maintained the team’s six-contest winning streak.
Opening ceremonies kicked off on Friday, Feb. 21 in the Central Hall Westminster building location, where the United Nation’s first-ever meeting took place in 1946. Committee sessions ran from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, and capped off with a formal black-tie ball on Saturday night.
Team captains Nick Boice, a senior political science major, and Payton Collander, a junior criminal justice and political science major, served on the NATO committee, leading a team of 14 students.
Five Monmouth students earned individual speaking awards, including: Collander, who represented Ethiopia on the African Union Committee and addressed the topics of “AfCFA [African Continental Free Trade Association] Phase II Negotiations” and “Xenophobia in South Africa”; Paula Echeverria, a junior political science and criminal justice major who represented Argentina on the UN Human Rights Council and dealt with the topics of “Abuses Perpetrated in Correctional Facilities and Detention Camps” and “Human Rights Abuses in Kashmir”; junior political science major Liam Crowley who represented Belgium on the Bretton Woods 1944 Committee and addressed “Assessing the Reserve Currency System” and “Reforming the International Trade Regime”; and Mackenzie Ricca, a junior political science major, along with Katelyn Quino, a junior biology major, who represented Belgium on the UN Security Council and addressed topics of “Hong Kong SAR [Special Administration Region]” and “Guerrilla Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
There were three levels of committees: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Crowley, Ricca, and Quino all competed on advanced committees.
Adjunct professor Sam Maynard ’14 of the political science department and team faculty advisor Ken Mitchell, Ph.D., accompanied the students. A group of Monmouth alumni also gave their time to meet and network with current students, including Alli Matz ’12, an analyst for McKesson in London; Emma O’Rourke ’19 and James Hawk ’18, graduate students at the London School of Economics; Liam Coffey ’18 and Jackson Pope ’19, graduate students at King’s College London; and MK O’Rourke ’18, a graduate student at University College London.
At the competition, participants were assigned to a specific committee of the UN, a nation to represent, and tasked with solving policy challenges according to UN rules. To succeed, team members collaborated and wrote policy resolutions with other participants, balancing their national interests with those of other countries, gave speeches in support of their ideas, and debated the ideas of potential competitors.
King’s College London hosts the largest Model UN contest in Europe, with 24 committees and more than 1,200 students representing 148 universities from the U.K., continental Europe, as well as across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
Only Monmouth and Columbia University competed from the U.S.