SUNY Plattsburgh Model UN delegates Kevin Clayton (left) and Shaun Reardon representing 20 BC Rome at the fourth annual Cornell International Affairs Conference held at Cornell University Oct. 17 - 20.
The Model UN delegation from SUNY Plattsburgh has just brought home the Best Large Delegation Award from the fourth annual Cornell International Affairs Conference, held Oct. 17 - 20 at Cornell University.
At only 12 delegates, they were the smallest of the large delegations there, and were competing against schools like Penn State, McGill University and Queens University. The award was a cumulative effort, as members were assigned to smaller delegations within the conference.
“I was in the UN SC (Security Council) and we were dealing with a nuclear terrorist attack on three cities, Mecca, Los Angeles, and Shanghai, so our job is basically to try and cure ourselves, find the perpetrator and make sure it didn’t happen again,” said Adam Saccardi, Vice President of the SUNY Plattsburgh Model UN.
It’s Saccardi’s second year in Model UN at the college level. It’s much different, he says, than high school Model UN. Model UN at the college level is geared more toward problem solving in individual committees, not large scale world diplomacy.
Saccardi’s room mate, Kevin Clayton is in Model UN as well, and participated in the Cornell Conference.
“I had a great time. I was in the Rome, 20 BC committee so we got to deal with a lot of topics that don’t normally come up. We got to do a lot of creative things, we got to debate against some really qualified people,” he said.
The SUNY Plattsburgh Model UN club has received invitations to attend conferences at McGill University, the University if California, Berkley, Yale University, Harvard University, the University of Virginia and Queens University.
But unlike what people most often think of when they think of Model UN, it’s not always about politics, according to Saccardi. At their most recent meeting, for example, they debated how to deal with a zombie apocalypse.
“The club itself has a lot to offer in the way of polishing your public speaking and debate skills which I think are very valuable skills to have as your going out into the workforce,” Saccardi said. “You need to be able to present yourself in public and if you’re going into a field that might have you needing to defend your position or attack someone else’s position, it’s a good thing to practice that when you can.”
With the conference now behind them, SUNY Plattsburgh’s Model UN is planning a debate on the topic of NSA spying and Edward Snowden. The debate is open to the public, and they hope to be able to both inform the public on the topic, and get them excited about the issues involved.
The debate will be held on Nov. 25, from 6 - 8 p.m. at the Alumni Conference Room in the Angell College Center.