Drury Students Excel at Midwest Model United Nations Conference

Drury political science students brought home numerous awards from the Midwest Model United Nations Conference, including Outstanding Position Paper, Outstanding Delegate-Honorable Mention and Outstanding Delegate-Delegate’s Choice. The team consisted of students Gabby Blevins, Dakota Bowen, Meagan Carmack, Mason Coble, Miranda Mullings and Zach Thomas.

According to the Midwest Model United Nations, “Midwest Model United Nations (MMUN) is an all-collegiate organization dedicated to the concept of a "Venture in Practical Education." It is designed to furnish a structure and forum for students to work with the most pressing international issues from a perspective outside of the classroom, and thus broaden their awareness of world politics. Representing the role of another nation's delegation to the United Nations, students further realize the difficulties and complexities of international relations.”

Students immerse themselves in a four day experience in international affairs. Groups represent countries of the world and attempt to simulate solutions to world challenges like environmental issues or global poverty. Participants work together to write policies and pass resolutions that benefit their both their countries and the greater global community. Approximately 300 students from 40 universities participated this year.

Dr. VanDenBerg, professor of Political Science and adviser of Drury’s Model UN, noted that the conference ties to Drury’s vision of providing a well-rounded education, saying, “Model UN directly contributes to many aspects of Drury’s liberal arts mission. The hands-on simulation integrates theoretical and practical knowledge.  It advances Drury’s global citizenship mission. And it develops the critical thinking, communication and research skills that are essential to liberal learning.”

Students see a great benefit from this program as well. Gabby Blevins said that the conference improved her communication skills, especially regarding tense issues like international relations. Blevins said, “A big part of creating the resolution we worked on was being able effectively communicate with others and learning how to compromise. There were many instances where one country wanted to amend a clause in our resolution, but changing the clause would make another country not want to support the resolution.” She continued to say that learning to compromise will play into her future career in political science and she is grateful for the experience of this conference.

Another participant, Megan Carmack, commented on how strongly Model UN promotes scholarship. She dedicated vast amounts of time to this conference. “Through Dr. VanDenBerg's guidance, I spent approximately 60 hours getting ready for this conference,” Carmack said. “International diplomatic debate isn't just something you can jump in and do. It takes practice, experience, and knowing what you're actually talking about. At some point, people can't fake it ‘til they make it. At some point in life, you have to realize that in order to get good work out you have to put good work in.”

Story by Payton Stringer, Digital Content Specialist