TCU Daily Skiff Wednesday, April 14, 2004
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Students learn at mock U.N. session
TCU students represented Uruguay at the Model United Nations Conference.

By Kimberly Hopper
Staff Reporter

When Uruguay presents a financing and development resolution at the next United Nations meeting, it may have originated in Fort Worth.

Students in the Model United Nations class acted as delegates for Uruguay on the General Assembly at the mock U.N. conference in New York. After two semesters of preparation, the 12-member class joined 3,100 other college students from around the world in the conference from Tuesday to Saturday.

While at the conference, students met in the Great Hall at the U.N. building. The resolutions they passed in each committee will be given to the real United Nations with the possibility of being used and passed there.

“I was a delegate for Uruguay on the General Assembly and took the stance that a Uruguayan delegate would actually take in the U.N.,” said Merica Halstrom, a sophomore international political science major. “Every country represented at the conference usually had two delegates for this committee and our ultimate goal was to write and pass resolutions.”

Students from TCU were chosen to represent Uruguay in the one of four committees, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean Committee. The other three committees were World Intellectual Property Organization, International Atomic Energy Agency and International Criminal Police Organization.

This is the first year TCU has offered the year-long Model United Nations class, said Karen Luong, a senior political science major.

“During class we would practice giving speeches because as a delegate you had to give speeches before the committee,” Luong said. “At the same time, we had to continue learning about our issues and researching; even up to the last few hours before we had to leave for New York, we were still finding new information and research on our topics.”

Students were able to meet with two actual delegates to the United Nations from Uruguay, which gave them a better idea of how to represent the country during the conference,Halstrom said.

As representatives, their job was to compromise with others while staying true to their own country, said Jessica Thomason, a sophomore political science major. Students quickly realized the challenges that real U.N. delegates face while representing the small Latin American country.

“The most challenging aspect of the Model United Nations Conference was being able to put forth Uruguay's position on the issues,” Luong said. “At the conference, you have a lot of countries throwing their weight around and trying to push their agendas forward, so we had to be careful that Uruguay's voice was not lost in the crowd and not lose one's cool in the process.”

Even though being a delegate was challenging, it gave students time to interact with peers from around the world, said Ashley Wright, a junior political science and English major.

“My favorite part of the conference was working with the international students that were also participating in the Model U.N.,” Wright said. “They brought such a different perspective from the students from the U.S.”

Halstrom said their hard work paid off when Uruguay’s financing and development resolution passed.

Students were also rewarded with the opportunity to sight see around New York, and Thomason said they were able to see Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane.
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