(Photo courtesy Troy Lafond) “Left to right: Matt Waterman (President), Gayathri Raja (Vice President), Madison Feudo (Secretary), Troy Lafond (Social Media Manager), Anthony Amatucci (Treasurer)”
Clubs are everywhere at UMass Lowell, whether it be the newspaper, or a sports team, there is always something for everyone here. One club that does not get talked about enough, however, is Model UN, which is a club that sees members gather and are assigned nations to represent, work on tasks and hold mock debates.
Madison Feudo, a board member of Model UN describes the club by saying “Model UN serves to simulate the debates and proceedings that would be seen in the United Nations. Each person becomes a delegate – in debate, you no longer represent yourself, but an entire country (unless you are doing a Crisis Simulation, but that’s a whole other story). In conferences, there are a variety of committees: Security Council, the WHO, ECOSOC, UNEP etc. Each committee has their own specific issues to debate, and the goal is to work with other delegates in the room to reach a solution. Delegates will work on, debate, vote on and pass simulated resolutions, which are inspired by and mimic the language of true UN resolutions. At UMass Lowell, we both host and participate in Model UN conferences. When we meet as a group outside of conferences, we tend to simulate the proceedings of the UN General Assembly in debate. Model UN provides a variety of opportunities and skills for students.”
As stated by Feudo, students represent entire countries and work on a lot of tasks, such as voting on simulated resolutions, discussing the needs of each country and so on. On the weekend of November 4th-6th, Model UN took part in a NEMRAL (Northeast Regional Model Arab League) conference at Northeastern University.
When asked about how the event went, Feudo said “Participating in NERMAL allows us to broaden our international scope and gives us the opportunity to address issues and simulate the nations of the Arab League in ways we may not be able to in a broader UN conference. Our team did very well! Out of 18 attendees, 9 won awards varying from Distinguished to Outstanding Delegate, and our university delegation was proud to take home the overall Outstanding Delegation Award for our representation of the UAE.”
Model UN can hold its own in debates that take place elsewhere, as clearly evident by winning many awards at the event in different categories. If this doesn’t scream like an opportunity to succeed and have fun doing it too, then nothing will. As for their schedule, they meet once a week.
“The IRC meets every Thursday in Dugan Hall Room 204 at 7 p.m. While this is our set meeting time, we occasionally provide additional (non-mandatory!) meetings to work on specific tasks or change meeting times to reflect the needs of students,” says Feudo. “Meetings usually cover our upcoming events and background on International Relations/conference preparation, as well as mock debate sessions.”
Those interested in joining Model UN should feel free to attend any meeting at anytime, it’s a great opportunity meet new people and create lasting friendships in the process.