CSU, Chico News

Chico State Model United Nations Team Wins Top Award at National Conference

Date: 03-27-2013

John Crosby
Political Science
Joe Wills
Public Affairs

Over spring break, the California State University, Chico Model UN team traveled to New York City to compete against more than 200 colleges and universities from around the world at the National Model UN (MUN) conference, March 17-21.

Competing against more than 2,500 students, the Chico State team earned the top team award of Outstanding Delegation, awarded to the top 8 percent of schools participating. Additionally, 10 individual awards were given to partnerships for work within their committees—five for outstanding position papers and five for outstanding delegate performance in their individual committee.

The Chico State team represented Iran, which offered them a very challenging and exciting opportunity, said faculty adviser John Crosby. With 21 students in 11 different committees, many controversial topics had to be confronted, ranging from nuclear nonproliferation and the nuclear situation in North Korea to fostering gender-sensitive perspectives in the context of political transition and addressing the issue of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Additionally, two students represented Russia in the Security Council.

The team is overseen Crosby, but is predominately student taught. This year’s team was led by Head Delegate Doug Stub, Secretary General Katelyn Phillips, and Officers Gary Boyd, Erik Ratcliffe, and Ryan Ostrom.

Two partnerships—Erik Ratcliffe and Michael Andreas in the General Assembly Fourth, and Kristina Houchin and Eric Dunbar in UNICEF—won both the position paper and performance award. Additional position paper awards went to Gary Boyd and Emily Parker in the General Assembly Second, Katelyn Phillips and Nigel Bocanegra-Speed in the Security Council, and Nick Peiffer and James Proffer in the International Atomic Energy Agency, an impressive feat considering the controversial matters at hand.

Also winning performance awards were Ian Kaser and Alex Nunes in the UN Conference on Trade and Development, Bert Haro and Joseph McCurley in the Commission on the Status of Women, and Laura Napoliello and Jack Lincoln in UNHABITAT. Other team members included Brynn Beck, Adam Graves, Catalina Sanchez, Ariana Muñoz, Jack Fitzpatrick, and Patric Lovato.

The team has cultivated a tradition of success, winning the top award at the National MUN conference six of the past seven years, a fact that Head Delegate Stub says is evidence of Professor Crosby’s impact on the program. “I couldn’t be more proud of the hard work and dedication that our team demonstrated this year, and was ecstatic to see it rewarded by so many of our students earning individual recognition, but even more so in the fact that we earned the team award, a tribute to every single student’s hard work,” he said. “I’d also like to thank Professor Crosby for his endless dedication to the MUN program, and for his uncanny ability to get students to stop viewing the issues at hand from their accustomed viewpoints and really adopt an Iranian perspective.”

“The students and officers this year demonstrated amazing dedication and commitment,” said Crosby. “Doug Strub and the rest of the officers (Katelyn Phillips, Gary Boyd, Erik Ratcliffe and Ryan Ostrom) were instrumental in bringing about this extraordinary feat. This internationally recognized conference proves that Chico State students can academically compete and win against any school in the nation and the world. I would personally like to thank the Political Science Department, the College of BSS, the University, the Instructionally Related Activities and finally the faculty who have these outstanding students in their classes for all the support they have shown the team this year. This was truly a team effort. I am personally very proud of each and every one of these students.”

The National MUN in New York is the world’s largest university-level simulation of the United Nations. It annually educates more than 5,000 students (50 percent from outside the United States) from over 400 colleges and universities about the United Nations and contemporary international issues.

Chico State students interested in the program take Political Science 340, Model United Nations, in the fall semester. The program usually draws from the international relations concentration but is open to any Chico State student.

Chico State’s Model United Nations team is funded by the Instructionally Related Activities Program, as well as by contributions from the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, the Political Science Department and student fundraising activities.