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(NORTHRIDGE, Calif., April 3, 2007) -- The CSUN Model UN New York Team won an Outstanding Delegation Award and an Outstanding Position Papers Award at the National Model UN conference in New York City during March 19th-25th. These are the top awards given at the conference. There were over 270 colleges and universities competing in the conference. Dr. Kappas, faculty advisor for the Model UN program, believes that this is the first time in the history of the program at CSUN that the Model UN Team has won the Outstanding Delegation Award. It amounts to a 1st place finish. The Team has won Distinguished Delegation Awards during the past two years, which is equivalent to a second place finish.
According to the National Collegiate Conference Association (NCCA), “The National Model United Nations has established a number of criteria for evaluating performance. Each element – remaining in character, participating in committee and proper use of the rules of procedure – is equally important to the overall awards determination process. All committees are weighted equally and delegations are rated on a mathematical formula in relation to the total number of committees represented by the individual Member state or NGO...Awards are given by NCCA in recognition for Outstanding Position Papers, as well as overall delegation awards in the categories of: Honorable Mention, Distinguished Delegation, and Outstanding Delegation.”
Dr. Kappas indicated, “I would suggest that the credit goes to the students. They spent 3 months preparing specifically and only for this conference. They wrote a total of about 7 drafts of their position papers. Three of those drafts were done over the intersession in January.” The CSUN team members included Malte Humpert, Justin Robertson, Aaron Montan, Igor Kagan, Giovanni Batz, Justin Suethe, Danae Busby, Samantha Carnell, Sara Barrett, Lilly Musci, Tim Lovestedt, and Jesse Petersen
Model United Nations (MUN) is an intensive, two semester course in applied diplomacy. Each class is organized as a simulation of the real United Nations (UN). These simulations are conducted according to certain rules of procedure with which students must become familiar. Students are assigned a country for each simulation, and they must come to class prepared to debate their country’s position on the issues being discussed. The course focuses on developing superior public speaking skills, negotiation skills, and position paper and resolution writing skills. Attendance at 1 local Model UN conference competition is required each semester. Attendance at the National Model United Nations conference competition in New York City is required for qualified students second semester. Students are strongly encouraged to voluntarily participate in two additional 3-day conferences in Las Vegas the first semester and Los Angeles the second semester. Both semesters are open to all students.
For each local and regional competition, each team member is assigned a country and is expected to represent their country within a simulated United Nations environment at the conference. For the National Model UN conference in New York City, the entire team is assigned one country or non-governmental organization that is represented in different UN organs such as the General Assembly, Security Council, and/or Economic and Social Council, among others. To prepare for these competitions the students must research the country they are assigned, write a position statement on the topics to be addressed at the conference, and be able to understand the viewpoints of their particular country on all topics discussed within the United Nations framework. Overall, students within this course spend a great deal of time in and out of the classroom preparing for each conference.
CSUN MUN teams have done exceedingly well in these competitions. Over the last few years, CSUN students have gained recognition for their excellence as a group and as individuals. For example, for the academic year to date, the individual MUN students have won an unprecedented number of awards. This includes 9 Research Awards, 9 Distinguished Delegate Awards, and 8 Outstanding Delegate Awards. Research Awards are given on the basis of the quality of a delegate’s position paper and knowledge of the topics. An Outstanding Delegate Award is given to the single best student in committee. A Distinguished Delegate Award is given to the top 2-3 students in a committee. Committee size typically ranges from 12 to 191 students. Awards at the New York conference are for the entire team.