CPP Model UN Team shines at National Model United Nations conference

By Aaron Coloma, April 23, 2024

The Cal Poly Pomona Model United Nations Team brought home highest honors on its annual trip to the National Model United Nations New York Conference held April 1 through 5.

The CPP Model UN Team received the “Outstanding Delegation Award” for the second year in a row following their display in Manhattan. This award was given to the top 25 schools at the conference. It is the best of three team awards given to various schools, followed by “Distinguished Delegation” and “Honorable Mention.”

Delegates Juliana Murillo and Cole Mcmillin received the peer award “Outstanding Delegates in Conference,” the first time CPP has won this award since 2019.

NMUN•NY is the largest and most prestigious Model United Nations conference worldwide, attracting thousands of students from across the world every year. Associate professor of political science and advisor to the Model UN Team Marc Scarcelli described the conference as “the best hands-on, learn by doing, immersive educational experience you could ask for.”

With their performance at NMUN•NY, CPP extended a streak of earning a delegation award which ranges back to 1998. Scarcelli stated his focus was not on the streak of good performances, but the students’ experiences.

“I always tell them the experience is worth more than the awards,” said Scarcelli. “The awards are important, the awards are nice as a form of validation and recognition, but the experience itself is the most important thing.”

The Model UN is a class where students collectively receive a member state of the United Nations to represent, then are split into two-person committees and assigned two topics. The team is selected in fall semester, after selected students who applied on the CPP NMUN website are selected from interviews.

The Model UN Team representing The Netherlands at NMUN•NY | CPP Model UN.

The students’ goal is to simulate the role of diplomats from their assigned country at the NMUN•NY conference. The Model UN Team trained themselves in public speaking, negotiation, compromise and conference rules and procedures to prepare for them for the conference.

At the conference, students spend several days alternating between formal and informal sessions regarding policy issues, attempting to recruit peers who agree with their stances and drafting resolutions within their committees until the final day when votes are cast on which draft resolutions to pass.

“When you are granted an interview for Model UN, we already tell you right off the bat it’s going to take a lot of time off your hands,” said Victoria Flores, political science student and CPP Model UN Head Delegate. “Model UN is a huge, time-consuming club, but it’s definitely super worth it in the end.”

Both Flores and Scarcelli encourage students from all majors to try out for their team, stating students across CPP have excelled within the team.

“This is a team for students from all over campus,” said Scarcelli. “There is sometimes a perception that this is a political science program, and I am a political science professor, but we absolutely welcome and encourage students from all over campus, and really that strengthens the team.”

Of the 18 students on the Model UN Team, 12 are political science students. Luca Accad, finance, real estate and law student, is the Model UN Team’s sole freshman. Accad explained how his team helped him settle in and perform at such a high-profile event.

“People who’ve had experience on the team are helping me and pushing me to achieve what I can on the team,” said Accad. “As conference started, some of the anxieties I had went away as I put everything I practiced to the test.”

Outside of class, Accad voiced his appreciation to the team for helping him settle in socially as a new student.

“As someone who has had trouble finding housing on campus and also has a long commute, it was really hard for me to meet people outside of class and get involved,” said Accad. “I think just having this team be a source of stability through the spring semester completely shifted my perspective on the school as a whole. I have 18 people I know I can trust who are super smart that I can look up toward; they’re like a family to me.”

Feature image courtesy of CPP Model United Nations

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