Four Students Honored At Model United Nations Conference



UD2 Justin Dickerson was the runner up for the position of Secretary General. Secretary General is the highest position in the Model United Nations.

Carlos Almeida, Staff Writer

UDII Justin Dickerson was the runner-up for the position of Secretary General at the YMCA Model United Nations conference at Hershey Park, PA Jan 8-10. Twelve Benedict’s students participated; three, besides Justin, walked away with honors.

Justin, who was one of the two finalists, said “ It was exciting to be around kids who were so positive.” After losing the position, Justin said he grew and matured.

“I reflected a lot and I was proud that I took the risk because St. Benedict’s was the smallest delegation in the program,” he said. “ I know I got many votes from people who didn’t know me at all.”

The weekend involved a lot of work for all the participants. Despite the allure of excellent food, hotel amenities, and all the chocolate one could eat, delegates had no time to do anything, but get down to business. Writing resolutions, debating resolutions, and running for elected positions filled the long days.

Model United Nations is an annual convention where students represent countries and debate issues currently faced by the United Nations. The conference began with brunch/orientation in the convention/dinning hall at the Hershey Lodge. Immediately after, the 1,900 student delegates broke off into their respective countries to attend Country Caucuses, where they met with fellow delegates representing the same country and traded information using the Country Research Papers they did prior to the conference.

Delegates then broke off into the first of their individualized committee sessions, for example Environment and Technology Committee, European Union, Press Corps, General Assembly.

During those sessions, delegates met the other countries in their committees, announced their country’s proposal on the three specialized discussion topics for each committee for that year, and work with fellow countries to gain support for resolutions written by the delegate regarding those three topics. Over the course of those seven committee sessions delegates worked with one another on their resolutions, argued for their fellow delegates to either support or go against a debated resolution, and asked for or made clarifications to resolutions by either asking the author questions or requesting the author to add amendments.

Though most of the delegates’ day were spent in committee sessions, there were breaks and events, both in and outside committee rooms, that allowed the delegates to have fun and interact with one another. In the committee rooms, there are personal reflections at the end of each sessions for those who wish to share with others their opinions about conference. There were also Character Development Awards, certifications written by fellow delegates and chairs of the committee to acknowledge a delegate’s work in the session. One major period of free time was Saturday night, where delegates have the opportunity to attend the dance in the convention hall, or watch a movie or a sports game.

Honors are given out at the closing ceremony. Based off the delegates’ work both in conference, and on their research, nominees for awards such as Premiere Delegate, Outstanding First-Year Delegate, and Outstanding Country Research Paper. Freshman Preston Rushmore, senior Jonathan Lewis, and senior Carlos Almeida were all nominated for Premiere Delegate in their respective sessions. Jonathan won the honor, and Carlos won Outstanding First-Year Delegate.

Carlos was also one of the 25 delegates selected to attend the Conference on National Affairs (C.O.N.A), an annual convention for students across the nation, held in North Carolina.