Lyon students were recognized as “Outstanding Delegates” for the first time at the Arkansas Collegiate Model United Nations (ACMUN) on Nov. 6.
Kristen Towery, Samantha Baxley, Timmy Tignor, Charles Fancyboy, Taylor Fitterling and Jihye Jung participated in this year’s conference. Baxley and Tignor were named Outstanding Delegates, and Towery, Fitterling and Fancyboy were named Honorary Outstanding Delegates.
“Lyon did really well this year,” said senior Timmy Tignor. “We had three new students who had no Model UN experience, and we did awesome!”
He continued, “The standout moment was that Lyon had never won an Outstanding Delegate before. I was so happy to see that we were able to do this well.”
Jihye Jung said the students have been meeting every Thursday with Assistant Professor of Political Science Dr. Jaeyun Sung to practice opening statements, speech scripts and how to write resolutions for Model UN. They even virtually practiced in a preliminary session with the Model UN team at Harding University before the conference.
The ACMUN conference is usually held at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) in Conway, but the event was held virtually over Zoom this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think everyone adjusted pretty quickly,” Jung said. “Also, since the Zoom meeting makes us change our username and background, it was even easier to notice delegates and their representative countries.”
Jung said this year’s topic was “Preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East.” The students worked to solve the problem by establishing a new council, which they named the Arab Cooperation and Defense Council (ACDC).
“It was impressive that we made our own council, named it, and made our own rules,” Jung said. “Our first resolution was unanimously agreed upon, and we all applauded together.”
“The hard work put into drafting and passing two committee resolutions by other members of the Council of the Arab League was truly inspiring,” said junior Taylor Fitterling said.
Fitterling chose to represent Syria and enjoyed researching his country’s stances on particular issues.
He said he learned three mains lessons at the conference: be careful when choosing a country that has not engaged in much international activity, be certain to “go beyond or expand upon your country’s ‘official’ position to deliver persuasive arguments and obtain support for your resolution,” and be willing to collaborate and compromise with other student delegations in order to foster a friendly and cooperative “international” environment.
Jung enjoyed how a small group of students was able to share their thoughts, resolve the problems at hand and achieve peace.
“Seeing us come together, I imagined a world without conflict and dispute.”
She is planning to attend graduate school to study international affairs, peaceful resolution and human rights in particular.
“Even though it’s just a Model UN, all the delegates were serious and critically thinking about the issues that the Middle East has today,” Jung said. “I found that we can definitely make a better world.”
Lyon’s Model UN team will compete again at the Midwest Model UN (MMUN) in February.
“The Model UN team this year brought well-deserved outcomes. They really worked hard throughout the semester,” Sung said. “I believe our students are prepared to face the next level of competition.”