“Goucher College has been closed due to inclement weather,” read the email that Goucher students received late Wednesday night on Feb. 12. To most students this was reason for celebration. But to the members of the Model United Nations, this was devastating news. They were supposed to leave for their flight to Boston for the Harvard University Conference the next morning at 3 a.m.
“We ended up having to take the Amtrak to Boston since our flight was cancelled,” said Andrea Sosa ‘15, president of the Goucher College Model United Nations Club. “It was an eight hour train ride and getting to the Amtrak was crazy; one of the members had to drive us through the snow storm and it was so heavy that the windshield wipers couldn’t clear the windshield, so he rolled down the window and stuck his head out just so he could see the road.”
Clearly this group is dedicated to their politics.
Model United Nations, or MUN, is just what it sounds like. Students who are interested in global affairs and diplomacy can join the club and come together to simulate the United Nations. MUN clubs from all over the world come to different college campuses every year to meet for a conference. Each chapter is given a country to represent and they have about a month to research that country in preparation for the conference. The club members are divided into four commissions; Commission on States of Women, League of Arab States, World Health Organization, International Security and Disarmament, and Administrative and Budgetary. The members are responsible for researching everything involving their commission based on their country.
The Model UN club was created in 2013 so it is relatively new to Goucher. This year, the Goucher MUN club was given Libya to represent at the conference. It is also the first time the club was able to go to a conference.
“The first day there, you walk in and immediately people come up to you and start talking; this is one of my favorite things about MUN,” said Sosa, “I love connecting with people, coming up with real solutions to real problems together and having them happen right there in front of you.”
Sosa was in the League of Arab States commission and the topic picked was the instability in Yemen. Sosa acted as the head of state for Libya; she had every resource at her command and would put forth a suggestion based on Libya’s views, just like a real head of state. The Harvard staff would write down the suggestion and decide whether it was successful or not. For example, the head of state for Saudi Arabia decided to send an intelligence mission into Yemen to capture Rebel Leaders. The staff wrote this down and then informed her that she was successful in her mission.
“What you’re doing is real, it’s not just like I could suggest anything to the staff. It had to be something that Libya would suggest,” Sosa said, her eyes lighting up as she remembers. “Something else that really blew me off my feet was when I was coming back from this restaurant and I took a cab by myself. The cabby asked me what I was doing in Boston and I said that I was here for a conference about the world’s issues. Then, he tells me he’s from Libya and I was like, ‘I’m representing Libya!’ He asked me what I thought about the inequality in Libya and we had this whole discussion! It was just so incredible!”
Amanda Paulino ‘16, another member of MUN, also recalls her favorite part.
“Meeting and bonding with people was so much fun; it rained on club night and it just made us all so much closer because we were all hot messes,” Paulino said. “Plus finding anyone that was not a political science or international issues major was an experience. Since I’m an English and Psychology double major, I stuck out like a sore thumb. When you found someone with a unique major you just clutched them to you and became best friends.”
Sosa has a lot planned for the future of MUN. She wants more Goucher involvement and to continue going to conferences and getting Goucher “out there” in the world. There are two conferences coming up in the fall that she hopes to go to with the rest of the club, one in D.C. and one at the University of Pennsylvania. It is clear from her enthusiasm that Sosa is beyond excited for the future.