(Reprinted from the Pilot)
by Rachel McLeod-Warrick
From February 23–26, six Principia College students represented the country of Mexico in the 62nd Midwest Model United Nations conference in St. Louis.
The College Model UN team consisted of Rhyan du Peloux, part of the First General Assembly committee, Caroline Carlson, part of the Second General Assembly committee, Chris Ajuoga, and George William Lutwama, both in the United Nations human rights council, Tobin Blair, part of the United Nations environment assembly, and Kristin Neubert, part of the United Nations security council.
Associate Professor of Political Science Sarah Andrews served as the program’s academic advisor. Model UN conferences provide hands-on educational experiences in which students learn about diplomacy and international relations. This year’s conference was entirely in person after two years of pandemic-related restrictions.
The event lasted three full days, jam-packed with work for every delegate. “We each worked tirelessly for 20 hours in plenary sessions,” wrote Carlson, who served as the head delegate for the team. “Each of us had key roles in the writing of clauses in the resolution papers of all the committees,” she added.
After four days of hard work, resolutions from the delegations’ committees were passed by the General Assembly plenary session. Most notably, under the UN Human Rights Committee, Ajuoga and Lutwama’s position paper was recognized among the best position papers at the conference.
"Winning [this award] meant a lot; just like in any competition, winning seemed like tasting gold," said Lutwama over email correspondence. "Our deep research, commitment, teamwork, and prayers helped us win this, given the numerous delegations that were competing. Our professor Dr. Andrews also contributed tremendously to our win. I felt ecstatic that we had secured a win for our Principia College community.”
The whole experience for the team was hard work but rewarding for the students as they represented Principia. "The conference was a very enriching experience, both because it helped me understand the functioning of the UN and because it enabled me to work on resolutions and ideas that can shape the future of international relations,” said du Peloux. Being able to meet and bond with students from all over the US who share the same interest in diplomacy was a highlight, he added.