Model UN Team Competes, Wins at Columbia

Published on: October 25, 2012

Laura Boning Zhu

Eight members of the Model UN team competed in the seventh annual Columbia Model UN in New York (CMUNNY) on Thursday, Oct. 4 through Sunday, Oct. 7.

CMUNNY is one of the most prestigious conferences in the Model UN circuit. This year the conference welcomed delegates from 29 universities in five different countries and 16 states.

CMUNNY distinguishes itself from other conferences with its small and dynamic crisis committees and a 1-2 staff-delegate ratio. It also offers a wide variety of committees. Simon’s Rock students participated in the Colombia Defense Ministry, Southern Sudanese Cabinet, G-20, Basque Nationalism, and the Culture committees.

Danny Sawyer ’11 won an Honorable Mention award in the Culture committee.

“My committee was one of stranger ones,” said Sawyer. “It was actually a sci-fi setting based on the Culture series by Iain M. Banks, which is about a hedonistic, post-scarcity, anarchy-socialist civilization. We even had rules where we couldn’t use gender-specific pronouns or any hedging when we talked.”

Travis Kling ’11, representing General Oscar Adolfo Naanjo Trujillo, Director General of the Columbian National Police on the committee “Hot Pursuit: Columbian Defense Ministry,” enjoyed his experience at CMUNNY.

“My committee was amazing,” said Kling. “I met so many wonderful people from universities all over the world. Of course, having the conference in New York City was an amazing experience in itself, as there is so much culture and history both within the Columbia campus and throughout the city.”

The team explored downtown Manhattan, ate good food, met up with other Rockers, and experienced the exciting nightlife in the heart of New York City. The Simon’s Rock Model UN plans to return to CMUNNY next fall.

“I had lots of fun in my committee and enjoyed the alternative format where our actions had less restrictions,” Sawyer said.

Simon’s Rock Model UN team competes in the inter-collegiate Model UN circuit. The members of the traveling team attend conferences such as the University of Pennsylvania Model UN Conference, the Five Colleges Model UN Conferences, the Harvard National Model UN Conference, and the West Point Security Council Simulations.