By: Hannah Dineen
From November 8th-November 10th, nine members of the Beaver Model United Nations participated in the Brown University Simulation of the United Nations (BUSUN) for a weekend filled with intense debate. The team got to be a part of many different committees, differing both in style and in topic. This meant everything from a fast-paced crisis committee on Brexit, with updates to the European parliament every minute, or a deep dive into the past of the education legislation enacted to help curb the Algerian war. Though the team walked away with five individual awards, they collectively expressed how great the experience was regardless. I got a chance to ask some of the first time Beaver Model UN delegates who attended BUSUN about their experience, and their answers were highly insightful into the experience of being a part of Beaver’s Model UN team.
Elise O’Keefe ’21 said that her committee took place in 1892, and that participants “aimed to tackle the issues of Labor Unions and government corruption,” and that over the three days her committee “passed many successful resolutions.” When asked about what Model UN skills she developed, at BUSUN was her first-ever Model UN conference, she said: “I learned how to challenge myself to speak and write while being collaborative and willing to compromise over certain points.” Elise hopes to take these skills to her next Model UN conference.
Ian Travis ‘23, one of only three freshmen in a crisis committee about Brexit, said that the most significant thing he learned at BUSUN was “how to stand up for yourself (or your character) to other delegates who are significantly older than you.” When asked if BUSUN was different or similar to what he expected, Ian said: “BUSUN was extremely different than what I had expected because in the past I had only done one type of committee, so this was different, but so much fun!” Though Ian regards some of the first few moments of debate as scary, he said the experience overall gave him “such a good idea of what happens in college committees,” and that many of the skills he developed will be ones he uses in the future.
Alice Molinsky’23 reflected on BUSUN as “a learning experience,” that taught her a variety of things including: “writing a speech in one minute, collaborating with a group of strangers, living like a college student, and public speaking.” She believes that the BUSUN experience will not only benefit her in further MUN conferences but “everywhere from school to the workplace one day.” When asked about how BUSUN was different from what she expected, Alice said: “all the high schoolers in business attire were kind of funny, but also, the actual committee sessions are incredibly formal and proper, yet college students are the ones running the debate.” Finally, Alice summarized her BUSUN experience as one that taught her how to be “a good delegate in so many different ways” and she thinks it “was an excellent first MUN conference.”
Overall, new members of the Model United Nations team, though tired, seemed to have learned a great deal about speaking, collaboration, and the United Nations as a whole, a remarkable start to their Model UN careers.