Delegation at Work: ONU Model United Nations Team Garners ‘Honorable Mention'
The resolution is clear – Ohio Northern University’s Model United Nations (UN) team has a great deal to be proud of this year. The nine-person team earned an “Honorable Mention” at the national conference in April, quite a feat considering more than 2,000 delegates participated in the event.
“Overall, the experience was very good,” remarks veteran Model UN advisor Dr. Andrew Ludanyi. “Award or no award, Model UN opens student horizons and allows them to see the world in a new way.”
ONU’s team was assigned to represent Syria at the week-long National Model United Nations Conference April 22-26 in New York City. Team members served as Syrian delegates on individual committees for the duration of the event.
In the months leading up to the conference, members of the ONU Model UN team met to research and practice writing resolutions.
Shaili Patel, a third-year pharmacy and political science major from Waterloo, Ontario, serves as the head delegate for ONU. Patel explains that, just to make it to New York City, “each person must write a position paper, then a more extensive paper and, finally, pass an exam. It’s a very rigorous process.”
Typical days at the conference run from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., with each committee assigned three topics to resolve. Success at the conference hinges on advance preparation, an area ONU’s team excelled at this year.
Kelly Morman, a freshman political science and Spanish major from Monroeville, Ohio, contacted the Syrian Mission to the UN, securing a mission briefing for the group on their first day in New York.
“It was helpful to see things from the actual Syrian perspective, and it really reinforced the research I was doing,” says Morman.
Team members were able to meet Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari, furthering their appreciation of what Ludanyi calls a “very interesting and politically active country.”
As a group, the team was awarded an “honorable mention” for their overall delegation performance. Christopher Lemon, BS ’08, also represented Northern by applying for and being appointed Chairman of the Islamic Conference.
Professor Ludanyi has been with the team since its beginnings in 1973. Even though he is retiring from the University, he will remain active with the Model UN team for one more season, gradually stepping back until his successor takes the reins.
Ludanyi is confident that the team will stay strong with many returning members, such as Michael Hamper, a freshman political science major from Jefferson, Ohio, who asserts, “I plan to participate as long as I’m at ONU.”
“This was one of the best teams we ever had, and the honorable mention was a first-class achievement,” says Ludanyi. “I’m very proud.”