Ode to the group of students who missed out on Pres Ball for the love of global politics

The true, accurate, and unembellished account of RC Model UN team’s adventures at the Southeast Region Model Arab League Conference

By Andreea Mihalache-O’Keef, their stand-in advisor, who definitely could have done better on securing them serviceable lodging, but partially redeemed herself (hopefully!) with a half-decent dinner and an off-schedule discovery walk downtown Greenville, featuring a waterfall, suspension bridge, magical fairy lights, antiques, and endless opportunities for team members to get lost.

Now read on, meet the team, and wonder at their unequaled exploits!

Tess Harrington, President of the MUN Club and the Head Delegate for RC’s six-person delegation representing the Kingdom of Bahrain, is a procedural guru who has stubbornly fought all challenges to create and coach a strong, diverse team this academic year, all along putting up stoically with their wild wanderings and shenanigans, on top of my very own general distraction. She led with an iron fist AND a velvet glove and we could not imagine a better head delegate.

Ellie Krull, Vice-President of the MUN Club and Bahrain’s representative on the Joint Defense Council, bargained, collaborated, and compromised, never once stepped out of character, and fiercely called out (or stared down) other delegates with lower standards when it came to representing their nation’s politics, interests, and values accurately.

Kathryn McElfresh, on the Special Council on Healthcare and Medicine, eventually grew tired of having to remind her fellow delegates that resolutions need preambles; instead, she went ahead and wrote them, so she authored or co-authored the preamble to each of the resolutions drafted in her Council.

Ryan Tucker, on the Council of Arab Environmental Affairs Ministers, boldly crossed disciplinary boundaries and managed to infuse his council’s resolutions with SCIENCE. He spoke science to a group of politics people and eventually figured out a way to make himself heard.

Jakob Strohl, on the Council on Political Affairs, came up with creative analogies and hypothetical examples to get the rest of his council to see his complex points and generally made himself such a nuisance (in the loving words of a fellow delegate) that he WON OUR DELEGATION AN AWARD, the Chair’s Superlative Award, all with impeccable style.

Cameron McDonald, Treasurer of the MUN Club and delegate on the Council of Arab Social Affairs Ministers, tactfully intermediated deals and compromises that led to better resolutions, all while overcoming the challenges of staying optimally hydrated, managing NOT to get lost, and dutifully driving our group EVERYWHERE (literally, everywhere, no matter the obstacle–speed bumps, pizza boxes, or medians).

As for myself, I spent the weekend in awe at the dedication of the team, cheering for them and applauding wildly (inwardly, to avoid being run out of council rooms) every time team members stood up to speak, huddled with other delegates, introduced motions, or waved their placards. This was my first time accompanying the RC MUN team to a conference and I am so glad they invited me along!

Next stop for this team: New York City and the National Model United Nations conference. They are ready!