This spring, 20 students in the Model United Nations class, offered through the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Rutgers University-Newark (RU-N) and taught by Associate Professor Lynn Kuzma, attended the National Model United Nations conference in New York City.
The class, which debuted in the spring of 2017, prepares students for the Model UN proceedings through hands-on projects. Students research and draft position papers, sit on UN committees, negotiate resolutions and treaties, and debate policies and global issues using the language and protocols that real UN ambassadors use.
The National Model UN is the largest intercollegiate Model UN Conference in the world, with more than 5,000 college and university student participants from around the globe. The event is organized by the National Collegiate Conference Association. Model UN Conferences are student-led simulations of UN proceedings, where students act out roles as country delegates and negotiate during an international crisis. The RU-N students in this year’s class represented Colombia.
There is no prerequisite to take the course, and students ranged from a variety of different majors: English, Sociology, Social Work, Political Science, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice.
"The mock conferences provide students with a forum to hone skills in diplomacy, negotiation, critical thinking, compromise, public speaking, writing, and research," said Kuzma. The RU-N class represented Colombia in various UN committees, including three General Assembly committees, UNICEF, World Health Organization, World Food Program, Climate Change Committee, Commission on the Status of Women, Commission on Crime Prevention, Peace-building Committee, High Commission for Refugees, and the Environment Assembly.
Two students, Yasmine Quinones and James Joyner, who also acted as head delegates for the team, beat a crowded field of 200 to win Outstanding Delegate in the United Nations Environment Assembly.
The RU-N Model UN delegation team also won an Honorable Mention for their work across all committees.
All photos courtesy Lynn Kuzma.