Student Profiles

Model UN Delegation Has Strong Performance at GSU Conference

The Porter-Gaud Model UN club had a very successful conference at Georgia Southern University on February 1-3.

Our team of 25 headed into the conference with six of our resolutions selected to guide debate for the first two days of the conference. That six of our resolutions were selected is a testament to our students' writing skills and preparation in advance of the conference, as only 32 resolutions were preselected out of a pool of submissions gathered from 20 schools consisting of over 400 participants. One of our resolutions, written by Sophia Sitsis and Peter Zervos from Greece succeeded in getting passed by the General Assembly (which is not an easy task!).

Upon arrival, our club's co-Secretary General, Alex Dodenhoff, as a delegate from Afghanistan, quickly jumped into the conference with ambition and was elected to be caucus leader for the Organization of Islamic States. This is the first time a PG student sought a leadership position in a caucus group, and we were proud to see him get recognized by delegates from other schools who remembered his strong presence from last year. Michael Psenka, Alex's fellow Afghan delegate, was a key partner in providing leadership for both simulated crises. Alex and Michael were also responsible for three of the resolutions preselected for debate, and received an Honorable Mention honor for their participation in the General Assembly (G.A.)

We took the greatest number of novices to this conference-- only our seniors Alex, Michael, Paul Qualey, Cade Callen and Clayton Johnson had attended GSU before. For the other 20 students, this was their first time at GSU, and only junior Baker Franklin, who took on the challenge of representing Ukraine in the high-powered Security Council, had participated in another Model UN conference. Despite such rookie status, our delegates were active-- they spoke often, were vigorous in resolution writing and successfully played the social and collaborative game required to earn speaking time among hundreds of students seeking opportunities to be recognized.

We were particularly impressed with our six freshmen, who were not intimidated by their elder or more experienced peers, embracing the high expectations with a vigor that gives us confidence for future conferences. Will Perrine and Jacob Gregory, representing Australia, were so strong each time they took the podium that they were awarded a Distinguished Delegation honor, which is only given to the top ten delegations in the G.A. (which is comprised of around 120 countries). Katie Krawcheck and Mari Gillum, representing Laos, were also honored with an Honorable Mention for their strong presence in the G.A..

As always, it was an honor to represent Porter-Gaud at the conference, and our students were in top form. Tom Westerman, Christianne Gates and I were very proud of their efforts.

By Paul Baran, Department Chair, History

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