As both a head delegate for our Model United Nations team and a participant in Model UN, I am faced with an interesting dynamic in the committee room. The recent 2013 UN University for Peace Model UN conference in Costa Rica was the first time as a head delegate that I was in committee with other delegates from Pace University. As Model UN is both a learning experience and a simulation, I had a difficult time separating my excitement for the success of the delegates and my country’s position. Whenever the other Pace students would make a great speech or work the crowd during an unmoderated caucus, I was filled with joy that they have learned so much from our Model UN course at Pace. I felt that as a head delegate all of our lectures, lessons, and simulations really worked.
However, I had to keep this excitement to myself because I wasn’t just an observer. I was representing a nation that did not necessarily care about the success of Switzerland, Uganda, and Amnesty International. I found the balance between being a mentor and a peer to be rather difficult and I struggled to view my teammates the way I viewed everyone else at the conference. Being so invested in their success, I did not want to put them on the spot or call them out. I realized, though, that for the simulation to be truly representative of the UN, I needed to represent my nation fully, because being a head delegate requires a balance between leading and participating.
– Elena Marmo ’15, Pace University New York City Model UN head delegate.