The University of Mississippi’s Model United Nations prepares students to communicate in a globalized world through mock debates, diplomacy conferences and research.
Ole Miss has something for everyone, even those who hope to become an ambassador to the United Nations or an international diplomat. Model United Nations is a student organization at the university that focuses on teaching its members diplomacy by presenting the history of the United Nations and its functions.
Participants are coached through mock debates, attend diplomacy conferences and learn to conduct research and build futures for political careers. Miguel Centellas, visiting professor of political science, is Model UN’s academic adviser and has worked with the organization for about a year. Centellas said he feels that Model UN is important because it gives students an opportunity to be exposed to many aspects of the international culture of diplomacy.
“I think (the course) is important for students to understand and get exposure to international politics, international affairs and different things the international community is doing,” Centellas said. “I also think being exposed to how to do research in sort of real-world settings is important.”
Fifth-year senior linguistics major Cory Blout is Model UN’s president and first delegate, and he hopes students gain a working knowledge of international relations as members of Model UN. “Our goal for students is to take away a working knowledge of how the world itself works, how international politics are in play and how different countries can work together and communicate in world peace,” Blout said.
Every spring, Model UN travels to the National Model United Nations Conference in New York City. Students take their assigned country’s political agenda and economic objectives into simulations where they meet with other delegations as the United Nations. “We have not received our country assignment, but we’re looking at being on the first, second and possibly fourth general assembly conditions of women; we’ve been on Security Council and different branches of the United Nations,” Blout said.
Centellas said he thinks a lot of students leave the Model United Nations conference surprised at how well prepared other students are. “For me, it’s kind of a good thing (students) have that shock their sophomore and junior year,” Centellas said. “This gives (students) time to sort of figure out how to be on the level they have to be on.” Model UN meets every Monday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Croft Institute and is offered as a Z-grade course in addition to meeting as an organization. Students are not required to enroll in the course to participate but are encouraged to consider taking the class if they intend to complete.
Article from DM by Taylor Delandro