Published 03/01/16

Seeing the world through Model UN

Model United Nations logoFinding common ground can be a challenge for any diverse group, but as nine members of the Bryant Model United Nations Club recently learned, the task is doable.

"You quickly learn that the only way to reach a resolution is to understand everyone's opinions, even those that you don't support."

The students recently traveled to Cambridge, MA, to take part in the four-day Harvard National Model United Nations Conference. There, they gained insights into the workings of the United Nations and the dynamics of international relations by assuming the roles of UN representatives and members of other international bodies and national cabinets.

“It is such an interesting experience because you meet so many students with similar ideas and conflicting opinions,” says Anna Duffy ’16.  “It causes you to learn to think in new and innovative ways. You quickly learn that the only way to reach a resolution is to understand everyone's opinions, even those that you don't support.”

More than half of the 3,000 conference participants came from outside the United States, representing 70 countries. Students have the opportunity to learn about current international affairs, understand, and represent a country’s position (Bryant students represented Nepal and Afghanistan), as well as how to stick to that position while working with hundreds of other delegates

“The people who challenge you and frustrate you are the ones who teach you the most,” Duffy says. “By understanding those delegates' reasoning, you begin to think outside the box and develop even better ideas. The whole experience itself is highly stimulating, as you are always thinking and changing ideas to adapt to those around you.”