I recently went to Washington, DC with St. Petersburg College’s National Model United Nations (NMUN) team. NMUN is a United Nations-sponsored program that brings together students from colleges around the world to compete/work with one another in conferences that simulate United Nations Committees. The goal is to provide “quality college/university level programs that bring together the next generation of international leaders.” While at the conference students will get “cooperative, hands-on learning (that) allows students to confront a range of topics with the perspective of their assigned country or organization.”
SPC was assigned the countries Austria and Ethiopia for the DC conference. The 12 delegates assigned for the DC trip met sometimes up to twice a week in preparation for the trip. We had to write position papers for our respective countries and committees so that we would be prepared for the task before us. We were in DC for 4 days, 3 of which were purely work. However, the first day we arrived we got to tour the capital, something that I have never done before and thoroughly enjoyed.
The keynote speaker for the opening ceremony of the conference was Acting Assistant Secretary of State Dean Pittman. As a governing policy nerd I was quite, for lack of a better word, “starstruck”. I even got to ask him a question regarding Obama’s so-called “Asia pivot,” which he didn’t seem to take a liking to, but answered nonetheless. During the opening ceremony I realized the gravity of the opportunity before all of us; the chance to meet people who have the same interests and knowledge in the fields of politics and international affairs, the chance to commingle in an intelligent forum and discuss the pressing issues in our world.
Our SPC team did quite well at the conference, taking home 2 outstanding committee delegation awards and a general honorable delegation award. It was an experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world and one I hope to have again. The friendships that we created are invaluable to each of our respective lives and careers.
For those interested in joining SPC’s NMUN team for the upcoming NYC trip I would advise you to contact Prof. Earl Fratus at Fratus.Earl@spcollege.edu or (727) 394-6045. (Tell him Max sent you)