Fake it Till You Make it: Model UN

Fake it Till You Make it: Model UN

Model United Nations (UN) is an experience that I have always wanted to have the opportunity to be a part of since I first heard about it in high school. Unfortunately, I could never find a group, and because of my lack of experience I was too insecure to start one of my own without knowing the process. This weekend, I finally got that experience, and it was more than I could have ever hoped for. I was proud when individuals would ask me how many conferences I had been to, and I said that this Model UN was my first. In part, I absolutely attribute this to the training we received in the Washington and the World class. We came in more than prepared to debate in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on the topic of Financing Sustainable Development.

 

 

One of the biggest highlights of the weekend was the successful merging of two working papers. This did not come easily at first though.  When we first came together, it took the other team 45 minutes to decide to merge, and this seemed terrifying.  They then asked us to take a clause out of our paper that was fundamental in our solution for debt restructuring. When my European block said no, critical conversation followed that went from tension, to the suggestion of extreme policies, to moderate policy suggestions with pragmatic outlooks on the present. This was an amazing lesson for me because although at the beginning there was an absolute about the way that everyone felt, when this was asked to be explained in further detail, a solution was able to be reached. We were able to be delegates and find a way to further the work of the committee.

 

 

As was described by our tour guide last week at at the United Nations (UN), one of the founding documents, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, has no legal influence in itself but has inspired 80 legally binding articles and inspired countless others in individual countries. It is also the most translated document in the world, having been done so in 400 languages.

 

The general good is what the UN appeals to while understanding that individual countries have their own needs that must be able to be addressed.  Over the weekend, I also realized that this was not going to happen unless myself and others do all that they can and speak up when our voice needs to be heard.

 

 

 

 

Kelly Sampier

 

Kelly is going to St. Lawarence University and is originally from Colton, New York. Her internship is at the Sindhi American Political Action Committee. This committee does outreach to get people to understand how the minority in Sindh province in Pakistan is not represented in government. In addition, the province has a lot of resources that are being exploited by foreign companies coming in. For these and a couple of other reasons, the minority's language and culture are dying.


The reason Kelly  picked this internship site over any other was because she is interested in human rights and wants to work with developing countries. Most of the work she has done so far though has been in Africa, and she thought this would be a good opportunity to learn about projects in other regions of the world.


What was the moment that you became passionate about human rights?


The moment for her was last fall, when she studied abroad in east Africa. She got to experience a developing country and got the opportunity to travel to three countries across rural and urban regions and to live with middle class and poverty stricken families.


What is the last book you read?


It is titled Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box. It focuses on seeing things out of the box so as to be an effective leader. Lots of people see themselves as leaders, but others may not.  The book discusses becoming more self aware of how others think about you. It is not advertised as she has seen but was very motivational.


What challenge have you experienced this semester and how have you overcome this?


The biggest challenge this semester has actually been work at internship because it is a unique office. There are four intern and an executive director. Originally, Kelly felt really grateful for this because she wanted a lot of challenge and responsibility, but that became hard when she was given huge projects without much direction. This has encouraged her to work on her communication skills, in a very real way. She has learned to be direct when she does not understand something. This has been an easy process for Kelly because the director is more than willing to clarify her needs for a project.
Dakota Foster

 

Dakota is going to Texas Christian University and is originally from Ft. Worth Texas. He is interning with Congressman Rodger Williams. His main job is research based on the week dealing with current events. The main reason he picked this opportunity because he has the long term goal of campaigning and getting to Capitol Hill himself. He thought this would be a good introduction to see if he likes the environment. However, he would like to first become a lawyer and establish himself in the community.


What is your spirit animal?


Tiger, because they are kings of the jungle and can blend into the background until the moment that they know they will strike.


What has been a challenge you have experienced this semester and how have you overcome it?


This is the first semester that Dakota has been away from home for such a long time. He misses his family and TCU football, but this is something that he feels he has to continue living with.  Having to make new friends and creating a completely different lifestyle seemed intimidating to him when he first got here, but the work he is doing and his new  friendships have turned out to be the best thing for him.

Experience a Day in the Life of an Intern at The Washington Center

Learn More