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NMSU Model U.N. team awarded highest honor at national conference

For the 13th year, the New Mexico State University’s Model United Nations team picked up top honors during their National Model U.N. Conference in New York City.

Model UN team holding award
The New Mexico State University Model U.N. team poses with the "Outstanding Delegation" award given to them during the National Model U.N. Conference in New York City on March 28, 2019. (Courtesy photo)
Model UN team selfie
The New Mexico State University Model U.N. team working inside of the UN Headquarters during the National Model United Nations conference, which the team attended March 24 - 28. (Courtesy photo)

The conference, which ran from March 24-28, ended with NMSU’s Model U.N. team earning the title Outstanding Delegation. With more than 130 institutions, and 5,000 students, the competition was fierce. In receiving the Outstanding Delegation designation, the NMSU Model U.N. team achieved the highest recognition awarded at the conference. NMSU represented the country of Somalia during the mock summit.

“Essentially, the judges award a point at the end of every session to only ten percent of the teams present,” explained Marcus Sanchez, the current president of the NMSU Model U.N. team. “Then they divide the points you received by the total sessions your team was a part of. Each school is grouped based upon those percentages into three tiers – Outstanding, Distinguished and Honorable Mention.”

“This is the third time we’re received this award in my four years here,” said Sanchez. “which really means a lot, to be able to uphold NMSU’s record.”

The 12 members of the NMSU Model U.N team worked in pairs during the conference, crafting seven papers overall. The papers tackled a wide range of subjects that directly impacted the team’s assigned country.

“The conference decides what topics we write about,” said Sanchez, “and they cover almost everything imaginable – from climate change and education to gender equality and nuclear weapons.”

Of the many issues that the team addressed during the conference, it was their work on the themes of humanitarian and disaster relief programs that garnered the most praise.

“Our paper written for the United Nations Environment Assembly even won an award, beating out about 120 papers from other schools.” said Sanchez.

Though the conference had the team working long hours and performing rigorous research throughout, working out of the actual United Nations Headquarters in New York made an impression on the students.

“Listening to the panelist discussions, hearing from international experts, and getting to engage in real world issues like migration,” said Model U.N. Secretary Fay Yurwit, “it all makes for a one-of-a-kind experience.”

“I love the Model U.N.,” said Sabine Hirschauer, NMSU assistant professor of government and the group’s faculty advisor. “I love the engagement it creates, and people endorsing international cooperation. It’s an informative experience, and a place where real history has happened.”

Other team members gained important experience from the sense of unity and teamwork that the Model U.N. summit fosters.

“The highlight of the trip for me was definetly being able to collaborate with so many different people,” said team treasurer Iliana Viscarra, “and just being part of a great, welcoming team.”

More information on the NMSU Model U.N. team is available at https://mun.nmsu.edu/.