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Model United Nations team triumphs at Chicago conference
The Lake Forest College Model United Nations Team earned a place as one of the top schools in the United States and Canada at the annual Chicago Model United Nations (ChoMUN) competitions, April 21-24.
“Our eight participants performed at, and at times above, that of several Ivy League schools and others that have for years dominated the Model UN circuit,” said Associate Professor of Politics and model UN Faculty Advisor Jim Marquardt. It is the second year that Lake Forest students have participated in the model UN conference.
The leading members of the Lake Forest team include Ellen Shipitalo ’12, Matthew Cunliffe ’13, Amudha Venugopalan ’12, and Ishu Kumar ’14. Cunliffe, a native of Richmond, Kentucky and Kumar, of New Delhi, India received honorable mentions, placing them above students from Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, and Brown and second on their committee of 100 behind Georgetown University.
ChoMUN, one of the most prestigious of collegiate model United Nations competitions, takes a different approach from the others by allowing college students to work in a format similar to that of the United Nations. While most model UN conferences follow the format and organization of the United Nations General Assembly, which engages in debate and passes non binding resolutions, ChoMUN prepares students for dealing with actual crisis situations through “crisis committees.” Participants are placed in committees with various themes and participate in a crisis that unfolds in real time. Students negotiate with other members and communicate with outside members in an attempt to find peaceful solutions. Throughout the conferences the participants are continually updated on the crisis at hand, which changes based on the interactions of the committee’s members.
Shipitalo of Coshocton, Ohio, working as a single delegate, had her name placed on the final document drafted in the committee, which is an honor reserved for the most active members of the committee. Venugopalan of Franklin, Wisconsin performed so well that her fellow committee members elected her to the committee’s top position.
First year members Sylwia Dakowicz ’13 (Chicago), Daniel Esturain ’13 (Chicago), Farzeen Tariq ’13 (Islamabad, Pakistan), and Caroline Walters ’13 (Raleigh, North Carolina) attend a continual crisis conference for the first time.
“All performed well above the standards of the majority of schools at the conference and will without a doubt be top delegates in the coming year,” said Professor Marquardt.