Members of the University’s Model United Nations Club showcase global citizenship and leaderships skills at international conference
It’s remarkable to witness our students practice diplomacy with so much talent, curiosity, and enthusiasm.
— Anita Deeg-Carlin, associate director of Fairfield University's international studies program
On January 25, ten Fairfield University Model United Nations (MUN) members traveled to Montreal, Quebec to put their global citizenship, leadership, and public speaking skills to the test at the 29th Annual McGill Model United Nations Assembly (McMUN). The largest and most prestigious conference of its kind in Canada, McMUN ranks among the top academic events at McGill University and has become one of the most highly anticipated and competitive conferences on the international collegiate Model United Nations circuit.
Over the course of three days, students engaged in simulations mimicking the United Nations General Assembly and were faced with issues of global importance. Fairfield’s delegation primarily represented the northeast African country of Somalia in their assigned committees and supported the nation’s position through debating, writing draft resolutions, and negotiating with allies and adversaries. Their preparation involved months of research regarding Somalian culture, economics, history, geography, and politics.
“It was really special to take this group of students out of the country for a truly international Model United Nations conference,” said Anita Deeg-Carlin, associate director of Fairfield’s International Studies Program, who accompanied the students along with Julie Mughal, director of the Jesuit Universities Humanitarian Action Network and associate director of the Center for Faith and Public Life. “It’s remarkable to witness our students practice diplomacy with so much talent, curiosity, and enthusiasm. They raise the bar for what undergraduates are capable of, and I am always impressed by their analytic, public speaking, interpersonal, and problem-solving abilities.”
Fairfield’s Model United Nations club has a rich history on campus and strong alumni connections across the country. Over the course of the past two years, club members fundraised for the trip through various efforts, including the club’s annual regional high school Model UN event which is held every November. As the result of their efforts, this year’s delegates were able to use those funds to attend the club's first international conference in over four years.
“The way our organization raises funds is unique because we host an annual event to teach high school aged students the same skills that we are currently refining to attend our own conferences,” explained international business major Danielle Izzo ’18, Fairfield MUN club president and head delegate. “It is a great way to not only raise money, but to also pass on the knowledge that we have gained on the collegiate level to younger students. Maintaining and sharing the spirit of the United Nations is something that we are all very passionate about.”
This year’s delegates featured a diverse group of students representing an array of cultures, class years, majors, and languages, who quickly bonded to form a cohesive and formidable team.
“As a whole, I think Fairfield University really shined at the 2018 McMUN conference,” said MUN club vice president and economics and politics double major Dale Klingensmith ’19. “Unlike students from other schools who lacked the liberal arts background that the core courses at Fairfield provide, I was able to draw upon a full range of disciplines including philosophy, finance, history, politics, and the hard sciences to articulate my point. Having the ability to draw from so many backgrounds and disciplines truly set Fairfield students apart at this conference.”
For more information on Fairfield University’s Model UN program, visit fairfield.edu/modelun.