Once again, Geneseo has proven that it is able to consistently make a name for itself. This time, it’s through Model United Nations. The club brought home numerous awards from the Five College Model United Nations Conference that occurred March 28-30 at Mount Holyoke College.
In addition to winning the entire conference with “Best Delegation,” four of Geneseo’s members earned the first-place title of “Best Delegate.” One individual came in second with “Outstanding,” and another in third with “Honorable Mention.”
The accomplishments made at the recent conference are a testament to Geneseo’s consistent talent. According to Model U.N. Vice President senior Matt Huben, the “core” group from last year’s team was replaced by roughly the same number of freshmen. The new members rose to the occasion, helping Geneseo to win the Five College Conference for the second consecutive year.
Geneseo’s Model U.N. team often appears in top rankings among all colleges, including international ones. According to Treasurer junior Zach Perdek, this places Geneseo amongst the likes of University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, West Point, Yale University and McGill University.
Throughout the year, Geneseo participates in three additional conferences hosted by Yale, UPenn and McGill. The conferences are often saturated with Ivy League schools, with Geneseo being the sole representative of SUNY.
“It’s pretty cool that our Geneseo team – being in the SUNY system – can go compete and win,” Perdek said.
Model U.N. is a longtime tradition at many college campuses, allowing students to simulate and “develop skills, such as public speaking [and] collaboration with other people, who potentially have different views – almost always,” Perdek said. The teams solve situations that can be hypothetical, fantasy or real-life.
Perdek noted that Model U.N. provides opportunities to “gain knowledge in how unique political situations in other parts of the world are,” something especially helpful for political science majors.
Despite misconceptions from students from other majors, Model U.N. isn’t extremely formal. Committees can vary from the National Security Agency, the U.N. Security Council and the French Revolution, to “Game of Thrones,” Harry Potter and World War Z – allowing students such as Huben to draw upon their interests and tackle the situations in imaginative ways.
“I never really approach it from a historical, political or diplomatic [perspective], so I’m always seeing what I can do creatively,” Huben said. “Even though there’s the political tie to it, there also a lot of other opportunities exploring different avenues.”