BY O’D ‘16
The St. Ignatius Model United Nations team traveled for the first time to Richmond, Indiana for the Earlham College Model UN Conference. At the conference, which took place on January 29th and 30th, 36 Ignatian delegates competed with over 300 students in debate. Delegates debated topics such as the refugee crisis, the legalization of drugs, and child marriage.
St. Ignatius delegates took top place in three of the thirteen committees. Charley Heintel ‘16 and John Jakubisin ‘18 won the UNICEF committee. Sam Watters ‘18 took home his third straight first place finish in the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs. Finally, Jeff Lindholm ‘16 and Peter Nichols ‘18 won best delegate in the General Assembly. Remarkably, Lindholm was able to win medalist with no preparation, taking place of an ill delegate.
According to Lindholm, years of experience provided him with the ability to win the conference without any research done. “I wouldn’t be able to do it without the three and a half years of experience that I have acquired. Back at Gannon University in 2012, I was terrified to speak. Now, I was able to passionately talk to the whole committee about the security council. I was being attacked on all cylinders, and this raised me up to the top.” Nevertheless, Lindholm was “stunned” when he found out about his victory.
Ignatius as a whole made a strong performance at the committee. Only awards for “Best Delegate” and “Most Improved” were offered. Ignatius took almost 25% of the awards for best delegate, despite making up about 12% of the committee. Most delegations were made up of two delegates, providing a different experience from the usual “one delegate per country” experience. This shows how well prepared our students are to succeed in new environments.
Some members of the Model UN team will be traveling to the Miami University Model UN conference in March, and a larger group will attend Cornell’s prestigious conference in April. If previous results are indicative of anything, the Model UN team will do very well in these committees, even though most delegates have not been to either one of these conferences before. The skills of our delegates combined with the preparations offered will enable them to do very well in the committees.