Fairmont State returns to the National Model United Nations Conference
After a three-year hiatus, Fairmont State University’s Model United Nations team made a successful return to the National Model United Nations Conference, held annually in New York City.
The goal of the National Model United Nations Conference is to “advance the understanding of the UN and contemporary global issues through quality educational programs that emphasize collaboration and cooperative conflict resolution and to prepare participants for active global citizenship.”
“Our students researched their assigned country and then created diplomatic resolutions to real problems addressed by the United Nations committees,” said Sarah Sakaguchi, Fairmont State’s Coordinator for Educational Pathways for International Centers and Students.
Representing the Union of Myanmar, the delegation of eight Fairmont State students competed against nearly 100 different teams from 100 different countries. Sakaguchi said this year’s topics ranged from disarmament and non-proliferation to human rights for those displaced by climate change.
Maiya Bennett, the 2022-2023 Fairmont State MUN president, said Fairmont State’s team members sat on six committees, found themselves represented on 11 adopted resolutions, and ultimately received an honorable mention for their efforts.
“These students spent many hours each and every week - during the semester and over winter break - writing position papers, researching and memorizing the stances of our team country Myanmar, practicing moots, sharpening their diplomatic skills and saving their pennies for this trip,” said Professor Robert Lee Bolton III, who supervised the team alongside Sakaguchi and Professor Dr. William Harrison. “Still, without the University's support, I do not think it would have been possible for us to do this conference. On the train ride back to Pittsburgh, multiple students told me it will be a lifelong, happy memory.”
Sakaguchi, a Fairmont State alumna, was a member of the Model UN student organization during her time as a student and was thrilled to see its success continue.
“Model United Nations is a student organization and program that Fairmont State University is proud to maintain,” she said. “I can remember participating when I was a student here: the hours spent studying, preparing, practicing, all to go to the conference and compete in New York City. I am extremely proud of these students and that I could be apart of Model UN once again.”