Model UN Earned First Place in Toronto


Oakland students have the opportunity to participate in Model United Nations (MUN) for credit through the Political Science Department or for no credit.  

Alexus Bomar

During the weekend of Feb. 18 to 21, OU’s Model United Nations (Model UN) Club took first place at the North American Model UN Conference in Toronto.

Seven of the 15 OU students who participated took home individual awards. Four of those students were awarded “best delegate” in their respective committees. 

“The Oakland University delegation (team) competed against some topnotch schools such as U of M and Brown and won the first place prize of Best Large Delegation,” said Alexa James, Model UN club president and secretary general for OU’s MUN 2016, via email.

The team competed in eight committees, in which delegates portrayed a specific country or person and debated issues in the same format that the United Nations does. Both current and historic issues were discussed.

According to James, the team prepared for the conference by researching their country’s or character’s foreign policy and past diplomatic relations and created notes and speeches based on their research.

“At a MUN conference you never know which direction the conversation will go in, so delegates must try to have as much information available to take into the committee with them,” James said.

Delegates received points based on their performance in the committee, and the chair of the committee administered the scores and focused on the accurate portrayal of the country or character and involvement in discussions.

According to Kendall Kosikowski, Model UN club secretary and director of public relations for OUMUN 2016 conference, the club attends two conferences every year – one in Cleveland and one in Toronto, so the team was used to participating in debates and creating UN-style resolutions.

After taking first place in Toronto, the student organization and the Department of Political Science hosted an OUMUN high school conference for the first time on Feb. 26 and 27.

The purpose of the conference was to give high school students the opportunity to discuss and debate international issues.  Delegates also had the opportunity to tour campus and meet with faculty and students.

“It was so impressive to witness high school students engage in such a high level of debate and work together to generate intricate solutions to complex international political issues,” said Kosikowski.

“There are a lot of moving pieces that go into planning a conference, and when you finally see them come together, it is so fulfilling,” Kosikowski said. “We’re going to take our experiences from OUMUN 2016 to make next year’s event bigger and better.”

According to James and Kosikowski, OU’s MUN is always looking for new members, and the club isn’t just for political science and international relations students.  Students have the opportunity to participate in MUN for credit through the Political Science Department or for no credit.  

According to James, the goal of Model United Nations is to educate delegates about current affairs and international relations, to enhance research skills and provide outlets to hone effective written and oral communication skills.

“It is an awesome way to grow upon skills such as public speaking and compromising,” James said. “We host events on campus that relate to foreign policy and the UN.”