Students participate in NMUN


Photo by: Contributed Photo

Left to right: Ashley Krause, Hunter Britt, Janine Gordon, Avonlea Samuel, Michelle Carter, Assistant Professor of Geography Jennifer Titanski-Hooper, Marisa Littlefield, Assistant Professor of Political Science William Daniel and Connor Graham pose at the National Model United Nations conference. Not pictured: Lauren Fields.

Kaitlyn Luna, Editor-in-Chief

The FMU National Model United Nations (NMUN) team, comprised of 8 students from different majors, represented the Central African Republic in its twelfth appearance at the Model U.N. headquarters in New York City on March 24-28, where it won an honorable mention for best delegation.

This year’s all-girl team included Head Delegate Janine Gordon and delegates, Michelle Carter, Lauren Fields, Marisa Littlefield, Hunter Britt, Avonlea Samuel, Connor Graham and Ashley Krause. Co-advisors William Daniel, assistant professor of political science and co-coordinator of international programs, and Jennifer Titanski-Hooper, assistant professor of geography led the team.

“Model U.N. is essentially a set of organizations or conferences that try to mimic what the actual U.N. looks like,” Titanski-Hooper said. “The United Nations, of course, is representative of most countries in the world coming together to try to solve problems related to conflict or the environment or economics. So, in the interest of understanding how that process works and what some of the difficulties are, you have a model U.N.”

The National Collegiate Conference Association (NCCA) hosted the conference, which had over 5,000 students from around the world, with the support of the United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI).

“You have a lot of international colleges,” Titanski-Hooper said. “So, there were students coming from China, Japan and all over Europe. That’s really exciting for us at Francis Marion. You’re not just meeting students from other American universities, but getting a perspective from international groups as well.”

Representing the small country of the Central African Republic, FMU’s team faced several challenges when it came to making resolutions.

“It was challenging that it was a very small country that has a lot of human rights problems, and a lot of problems in general,” Krause said. “Having a country like that is not easy to work with at the United Nations because not a lot of people want to work with you to make resolutions. The whole purpose is to try to offer people things to get what you want in return. You help them, and they help you back. We can’t help with much because we are poor, so they didn’t want to help us.”

This year was Krause’s first time at the NMUN conference and she said it was a unique experience for her.

“It was a transformative experience,” Krause said. “I’m a psych major, so poli-sci is not what I want to do. It made me realize how much it is not what I want to do, because it is such a political environment. You learn how to be diplomatic.”

Students who were interested in participating applied at the end of the fall semester. The application included a letter explaining why they believed they should be a part of the team, letters of recommendation and their GPA. Professors then reviewed the applications and selected the students to participate in a class where they received honors credit.

“It was kind of a whirlwind,” Carter said. “Every Monday we had classes, and that was the preparation part of it. We also wrote position papers about each of our different committees.”

Students who are interested in participating in next year’s NMUN conference are encouraged to apply next fall.