By Cassie Florian
While many students were finishing up their midterms and heading home for break, Alma College’s Model UN team was winning yet another “outstanding” award at the Midwest Model UN conference in St. Louis.
The college has won this award for 25 years consecutive years, and have won 46 outstanding awards since 1994.
“Overall, the experience was pretty exciting, we were freaking out a little bit at first when things didn’t go as planned, but it kept us on our toes and I think we all had a pretty good time,” said Daniel Lynch (’20).
With this being his first conference, Lynch went on to mention how, although the experience was new and very intimidating, he learned a lot and even got to go out to dinner at the Trainwreck Saloon to celebrate his birthday with the team.
Although members were able to have some fun while in St. Louis, it was their research and preparation at Alma that really showed during the conference.
“We did a lot of research in preparation for this conference,” said Anna Kildisheva (XC). “You need to know a lot in terms of info and in terms of communication. We had very intensive classes and practiced giving speeches a lot. I think we were quite prepared.”
Although their research and preparation is a clear reason for their annual success at conferences, many students also site their professor, Dr. Derick Hulme as the major reason for their success.
“A big reason for why we do so well is because we have a great professor,” said Jadon House (’20). “He does a great job at preparing us for the conference and his teaching style helps us get where we are now.”
“He is demanding of us and it prepares us for conference so well,” said Kildisheva. “He puts a lot of pressure on us which helps push us to do our best.”
Although there were many new members who were just learning what conference was all about, there were also a lot of older members there to help make sure everything ran smoothly.
“Since I’ve been [there] before, [the conference] was quite enjoyable,” said House. “It was mainly the same topics as last year so most of the time was spent focusing on training the new folks and preparing them for conference.”
House also mentioned how if he could go back and change one thing about the experience, he would focus a little more on researching and practicing their presentations so that they could all be even more prepared for the event.
While the team was certainly able to bond with each other throughout their time preparing and participating in the conference, they also had the ability to interact with people from other schools.
“One of my favorite things about the conference was meeting new people from different schools,” said Blaze Wilson (’21). “It was really cool to see students from other schools with like-minded interests.”
With the end of their St. Louis conference, the Model UN team will now begin preparing for their next conference in New York.