Group at White House
Jane Carmody ’14, Anne Gaskins ’14, Ben Roberson ’14, Kayvon Behroozian ’14 and Ben Duchin ’14 in front of the White House during WhitMUN’s trip to Washington, D.C. for a Model United Nations conference.

An eager, young Whitman College Model United Nations Club (WhitMUN) recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in a four-day Model United Nations conference. There they debated, discussed, and honed their diplomatic skills alongside other students.

The conference, sponsored by National Model United Nations (NMUN) in association with the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), brought together delegations from around the country and as far away as Belgium. The goal of the conference was to “to provide student participants with a better understanding of the inner working of the UN as they build skills in diplomacy and compromise,” as well as to “discuss the issues facing this vibrant region,” states the NMUN Web site.

WhitMUN contributed 10 delegates to the mix, all with great success. Kayvon Behroozian ’14 and Alice Minor ’12 each received the accolade of “Outstanding Delegate” within their respective committees. The entire delegation, which represented the nation of Chile at the conference, also was recognized with an “Honorable Mention” in the Best Delegation category.

Alice Minor
Alice Minor ’12 poses in front of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

Considering that the club is composed predominantly of first-year students, and that the collective group had only two months to prepare, the results are all the more impressive. Clearly what the group lacked in way of preparation was more than compensated for through their enthusiasm for international relations.

During the conference, delegates were divided into seven committees, each with their own topics and agendas. Discussions ranged from trade and investment to energy and emergency preparedness. Through their arguments, they aimed “to improve the economies and health statuses of our respective nations,” said Alice Minor ’12.

As they wrote, discussed and debated, the participants valued the opportunity to work closely with others.

“My greatest learning experience was when we were writing our report as a committee; it wasn’t only informational learning, but learning how to work with people, make compromises, and come up with a coherent final product in a cooperative way,” said Anne Gaskins ’14.

Through all their hard work, dedication and deliberation, the delegates took away lessons that extended far beyond the topics of their assigned committees.

“Talking to committee members outside of the conference room allowed me to learn about where the other delegates came from, both national and international students. It was fun exchanging cultural norms with students from other countries,” said Jane Carmody ’14. “WhitMUN is now my favorite activity on campus!”

With this successful trip under their belts, these exuberant ambassadors are fulfilling the club’s mission statement of “using diplomacy to not only solve world issues at conferences and debates but to apply it to their daily lives as well.”

Members of the group include:

  • Kayvon Behroozian ’14
  • Sugarsuren Byambasuren ’14
  • Jane Carmody ’14
  • Cari Cortez ’13
  • Bao-Tram Do ’13Ben Duchin ‘14
  • Anne Gaskins ‘14
  • Alice Minor ’12
  • Benjamin Roberson ’14
  • Olivia Ware ’13

For more information, contact Kayvon Behroozian, Whitman Model United Nations President at behrookt@whitman.edu.

— Troy Cameron ’14