Flagler Model UN team travels to Atlanta

By Frank Mahoney | gargoyle@flagler.edu

The Flagler College Model United Nations team attended its second Southern Regional Model United Nations (SRMUN) conference in Atlanta this month. This is also the second year that the Flagler team has been in existence.

Model United Nations (MUN) is an academic competition where students represent delegates from countries in the United Nations and organizations within the United Nations. These students research their assigned countries and organizations and work with other students to solve Geo-political problems.

“This was SRUMUN’s 22nd annual conference and one of the larger Model United Nations conferences in the United States,” said Brenda Koufman, faculty advisor for the Flagler chapter.

There were 48 colleges and universities at SRMUN this year and 648 delegates. Flagler College sent 12 delegates and represented the countries of Guatemala and Uganda.

“SRMUN was able to put together an very impressive conference,” said Koufman.

The Flagler students worked very hard to get to this point, Natalia Rivera, MUN president, said.

“We held some fundraisers to help get to this point,” she said.

Members of the team held a dance at the school, worked the communications lot during parents weekend and earned sponsor support from around the community to gain revenue.

“We have MUN members pounding the streets of St. Augustine looking for sponsors,” Rivera said. “That is basically what we are living off. Because of a clerical error this year, we only received a portion of the money we were suppose to have.”

Fundraising money to go to events like this was not all that the members of the Flagler MUN team had to do. There is a lot of studying and knowledge that goes into any conference.

“After a series of weekly meetings to get prepared for the conference,” Koufman said, “[the team] needed an understanding of their committees, country and the rules and procedures of the conference.”

Flagler College walked away with a Honorable Mention Delegation Award for representing Guatemala.

“For this just being our second year and having new members, this is very rare,” Rivera said. “It usually takes colleges and small schools many years to get recognized by the higher ups.”

The team hopes to build off this momentum. They are on the waiting list to go to the Harvard MUN competition. Other possible conferences they may attend are in Montreal, Gainsville and North Carolina.

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