Spotlight on Devin Eliott ’13, Model United Nations Head Delegate
Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 21:10
Wellesley students in Model United Nations (MUN) do not wait for their careers to start problem solving. MUN members join as delegates with students from other colleges several times a year to discuss and debate international issues. Devin Eliott ’13 shared the organization’s purpose, as well as its relation to the real world.
What does Model United Nations do? What is your role in the organization?
Model United Nations sends select delegations to intercollegiate conferences—both domestic and international. We also have weekly trainings to hone our debating skills. Our e-board organizes training sessions, plans conference trips and social events to make sure our delegates are always having fun.
Why did you join MUN? How do you feel the org has impacted you?
I first joined MUN in high school because it looked like a lot of fun, and it gave me a chance to travel. I continued through college because I had a great experience in high school, and wanted to continue. Wellesley MUN has fostered my interest in current events, international diplomacy, and has had a huge impact on my long-term career and personal goals.
Participating in a debate at a high level from a perspective that is not your own really forces you to think more dynamically and creatively, and be comfortable making inferences based on the knowledge you have. It encourages you to just go for it, and see what happens.
Where and how often do members attend conferences outside of Wellesley? What happens in a conference?
In recent years we have attended conferences at McGill, Yale, Columbia and BU, among others. We typically attend three conferences a semester. At a conference, delegates participate in fast-paced debate, which simulates real-world international events. Some recent examples of committees include the CIA, the Nigerian Cabinet, the BP Gulf Coast Trial and the Iroquois Nation. Delegates manipulate the events from the perspective of their assigned character to achieve their committee’s overall goals and their character’s personal goals.
What have been Wellesley MUN’s achievements thus far?
These past few years have been great for MUN. We’ve doubled in size, and have gained enthusiastic and talented new members. Additionally, we’ve achieved great success at conferences. Past awards include Best Delegate, Outstanding Delegate and Honorable Mention. At our most recent conference, our delegation took home three awards. It’s been really exciting to see MUN grow like it has.
How does MUN compare to real world international relations?
It’s similar in that we’re debating pertinent issues from the perspective of real-world characters. We also experience the complexities of international diplomacy first-hand—although without some of the more serious consequences. A typical last day of committee includes many shenanigans, oftentimes encouraged by the conference staff.
Also, on behalf of the entire Wellesley Model UN Team, we wanted to extend an extra special thank you to the eight Wellesley students who gave up their bus seats on Friday night so that the Model UN team could get back to campus. It was one of the most touching moments any of us have experienced at Wellesley, and it means the world to us that our community showed such support to our delegates after a long day of hard debate.