By Jimmy Abbatiello, HPU senior
BROWNWOOD – December 7, 2016 – Howard Payne University’s Model United Nations team recently traveled to Washington, D.C., to represent Spain at the National MUN conference, which involved more than 1,000 participants from universities around the world. The team was presented a Distinguished Delegation award, with its representation of Spain among the top 23 percent of the more than 125 countries represented.
HPU students majoring in political science, history, family studies and communication met with others interested in developing possible solutions to world crises through a detailed recreation of the different bodies of the United Nations. MUN conferences have been established around the world, allowing students to learn how the United Nations functions internally and immerse themselves by becoming representatives of countries with views possibly different than their own. Delegates are expected to research their respective countries’ positions on certain subjects and debate from that perspective during formal and informal sessions. The end results are resolutions outlining how to effectively solve current problems which are submitted, debated and voted upon with the same procedures the actual UN utilizes.
Topics discussed in the various councils included the implication of technology on global security, international counterterrorism measures, empowering youth through sustainable development and promoting nuclear safety and security.
“Model United Nations, as always, opens doors for deeper cross-cultural communication,” said Braxton Clark, senior social science major from Southlake. “Learning the viewpoints of foreign students and working with them toward common goals allows us to grow as academics and become more well-rounded global citizens.”
Due to the timing of the conference, the group visited the Capitol in the midst of the presidential election. Some members even witnessed the president-elect’s motorcade as he left his first audience with Senate leadership. The team also was able to tour the facilities of the United States Department of Agriculture, meet and network with legal and communication staff and learn more about the day-to-day work of the executive branch. The delegates explored the major historical and political sites of Washington, D.C., including the National Mall, Library of Congress, National Archives, Smithsonian Museums and Mt. Vernon.
In addition to Clark, team members included Jimmy Abbatiello, senior from Kerrville; Mike Hord, freshman from Montgomery; Augusta Johnson, junior from Gatesville; Joel Justice, junior from Brownwood; Cody Perrin, senior from Eastland; Emma Reed, sophomore from Arlington; Sydney Spencer, senior from Georgetown; Penny Stehlik, freshman from Round Rock; and Caitlin Wood, senior from Miles.
Cutline: HPU’s Model United Nations team recently received a Distinguished Delegation award at a Washington, D.C., conference. Team members, pictured at the Potomac River making the HPU “sting ’em” gesture, are Cody Perrin, Joel Justice, Mike Hord, Caitlin Wood, Sydney Spencer, Braxton Clark, Penny Stehlik, Jimmy Abbatiello, Emma Reed and Augusta Johnson.