NMUN Conference in Washington, DC
On October 30, 2008-November 2, 2008 the Rhodes College Model UN team, which consists of International Studies Students: Drew Rumbelow, Alex Chanthusus, Michael Pham, Lauren Rogers, Elizabeth Tomlinson, Lara Wagner, Kelly Ranager, Anna Laymon, Katelyn Munsey, Sarah Smith visited Washington DC for the National Model UN Conference (NMUN-DC) held on the campus of the School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of Johns Hopkins University. Anna Laymon describes the experience below:
Washington DC is unlike any other city in the United States—magnificent monuments and marble buildings line the streets, creating an incomparable ambiance of dignity and patriotism. As the Rhodes College Model UN team walked through the heart of the nation’s capitol, many for our first time, we discussed the uncanny sense of pride that encompasses any person who witnesses the grandiose of the Lincoln Memorial, or beauty of the Capitol Building. We came to DC to represent Rhodes College in the annual DC National Model UN Conference; the school’s first conference in years and the first college level Model UN competition for each of our delegates. Needless to say, our nerves were high. However, as we toured the Capitol building and the Senate Cloak Room upon our arrival in DC, our nerves began to settle. As we quickly learned, the pride and admiration the city exerts upon its visitors increased tenfold as we stood in the heart of the nation’s political machine. We were no longer concerned with what we would say during our debates the next day at the Conference, but entranced by the history of where we stood.
Filled with the ambiance of Washington, we entered the conference prepared, nervous, and above all, excited. There were about ten of us in all, representing the United States at a time when hardly any country is less popular within the United Nations. Fending off constant references to the war in Iraq and the U.S. withdrawal from the Human Rights Council, we listened, debated, and learned. The conference itself was a great success, and each of us found ourselves leaving with increased respect for the United Nations process, as well as an exact understanding of what it takes to be a diplomat. And, above all, we returned to Memphis with an increased sense of accomplishment and growth, and a drive to create an even more competitive and enjoyable Model UN program at Rhodes.
We would like to thank each of the Rhodes alumni who made our trip one of the best Rhodes Model UN has ever experienced. From the tour of the Senate floor to dinner with a dozen Rhodes graduates, we truly felt welcome in DC. We are looking forward to the conference in the fall of 2009, and with continued effort and growth, we hope only to match the great experience we had in DC just a few months ago.