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Reflections on the 2021 National Model United Nations

Hello PISA community! This week we wanted to give you all insight into the Model United Nations course held here at Bishops. From March 28-31 of this year our 2021 delegation took part in the first ever virtual National Model UN simulation representing Ireland—and below are their reflections on the experience. Enjoy!

Marie Pier Allard:

This year I had the opportunity to be Head Delegate for the United Nations Practicum. After being part of the 2019-2020 delegation, I quickly became very enthusiastic about this course and its opportunity. As you may know, this year has brought significant challenges. While the conference is usually held in New York, we knew at the very beginning that our chances of having an in-person conference were extremely low. We had to adapt in a lot of ways. As the pandemic forced us to move our academic activities online, it also meant to adapt our preparation for New York accordingly. Such as adapting public speaking skills from in-person speeches to online speeches, adapting negotiation skills or learning how to run a simulation online. While it may not appear too different, few adaptations needed to be made for the student and for myself, I would say. I think the most gratifying part has been to see the progress of our delegation. As a head delegate, you are in charge of supporting the students, giving them advice, guiding them through the year, and helping them become the best delegates they can be. While all the awards may be a good example, having the opportunity to watch the delegates perform over four days has definitely filled me with pride. The Model United Nation practicum is a fantastic learning experience. While the simulation usually brings you to New York and provides you with an amazing networking opportunity, this year has taught me that it teaches you much more valuable skills, whether it is in person or not.

Katherine Hackett:

Hi everyone, so excited to share my experience at NMUN. With the Bishop’s Delegation, my partner and I represented Ireland in the United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA), which is the highest-level decision-making body on the environment. In the UNEA, we were able to set the agenda and decide which topic was the most important for all Member States of the United Nations. Once the topic was chosen, for us being Climate Change and Health, we spent the three next days debating and discussing with other students’ representing countries from all over the world on our working papers that later became a mock resolution. This experience was unlike any other, I would recommend for any student in Politics and International Relations to apply. This is the first time you really get to apply what you’ve learned throughout your schooling. You learn how to debate, how to comprise, and most of all how to express yourself in a way that catches people’s attention, and allows them to understand you. You are also able to meet people from all over the world who have similar interests as you! Even with COVID-19, NMUN was one of my favorite university experiences.

Safia Hafid:

As part of the Bishop’s University 2020-2021 delegation of the National Model United Nations, I can say that it was an unforgettable experience. I am still honored and excited to have been chosen, and to have experienced the wild ride that is NMUN (COVID-19 edition). I learned a lot about writing, public speaking, diplomacy, teamwork and collaboration, and most importantly trusting and believing in myself. Much like my other classmates, I poured all of my effort into the presentations and essays and papers and simulations, and having Bishop’s win Outstanding Delegation feels like a culmination of these efforts. However, what I appreciate and will remember the most is the sense of camaraderie and teamwork we shared within the class. There was a shared purpose, and a helpful, kind, supportive community. It was about helping each other, cheering all of us on, which helped make this year’s NMUN class memorable and worthwhile.

Maia Lugar:

I had the opportunity to participate in Model UN for the second time, after participating last year and having the National Model UN simulation in New York (NMUN) cancelled due to COVID-19. The New York simulation obviously occured online this year, so it was a bit different than it typically is. Even so, the simulation helped me gain a new understanding of the nuances of negotiation, and how much of an impact the way you present yourself and hold yourself has on others' perceptions of you. It was an exhausting four days, but it gave me a better understanding of how to work effectively in a group, how to manage my time, and how to manage my energy levels both mentally and physically. This is a class unlike any other offered at BU, and I highly recommend taking the opportunity to take the class and work in such close partnership with both students in the class over the course of the year, as well as students from all around the world during NMUN.

Grace McArthur:

Going into the conference this year, we knew it would be a different experience, but I’m still ridiculously glad to have done it. I got to learn about the process and practice my speaking skills, and our Head Delegates were incredibly supportive and helpful. Even though we couldn’t be in New York, I feel like there were a lot of changes made to make the hours online a little more bearable - such as not recommending after-hours work so we could really rest between days. We still managed to get our working papers drafted, and I even made some friends abroad!

Nathan McGreachy:

Hi everyone,

My name is Nathan and I'm a fifth year International Studies and Management major. The experience gained through NMUN was the culmination of our two semesters worth of practice and preparation. Being able to successfully represent Ireland and Bishop's at the highest diplomatic level for students was such a great experience. Meeting new people, coming up with valuable solutions to real world problems was something you can't get from listening to a lecture and writing a paper. I highly recommend all Political Science or International Studies students apply to the delegation next year to be able to experience this for themselves! Shoutout to ask my classmates, head delegates and Dr. Martin-Brûlé for making this awesome event possible.

Carrie Robinson:

Being a part of the BU Model United Nations delegation was one of the most rewarding and educational experiences of my time at Bishop’s. I was incredibly proud to be part of this team who have become great friends and family over the past year. I also learned a lot about diplomacy, negotiation, the United Nations, and international relations which I know will translate directly into whatever career path I follow in the future. The National Model United Nations simulation, though virtual this year, was an amazing opportunity to meet people from across the world, test our newly-learned skills, and develop our interests. I would recommend the Bishops Model UN course to any student in the political and international studies department.

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