Model United Nations team ends competitive year in first-place positionBy Julia Morse
After being neck-and-neck with Harvard University for second-place positions at the first four conferences this year, Chicago’s Model United Nations team came in first place over spring break at its final competition, hosted by the University of California at Berkeley.
“I am incredibly proud of my team, what a way to finish out the year,” said fourth-year David Siffert, Model United Nations President.
The Model U.N. team did well over the course of the year, Siffert noted, coming in second-place at conferences hosted at Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University and McGill University.
But the best was saved for last, Siffert said. The March conference in San Francisco was the Chicago team’s greatest accomplishment of the school year. Twenty-four delegates of the nearly 100 members of Chicago’s Model U.N. team traveled to California for the conference. Nineteen delegates brought home individual awards and all 24 were given the Best Large Delegation award.
Included in the 19 delegates who were given individual honors were all of the first-time competitors, Siffert said. “We have a lot of really experienced, really talented members graduating this year, but for every one of them, we have at least one first-year who is coming in,” he added.
Since Siffert joined Chicago’s Model U.N. team a few years ago, he said he has seen a major transformation and performance improvement.
“I came in at a time when we weren’t the best competitors, when we weren’t ranked at the very top with the very best schools in the country,” he said. “And now I’m finishing out my last year, and we’re right there at the very top. It’s a really great feeling.”
Overall, Siffert said he is winding down his Chicago Model U.N. career with a great sense of accomplishment for the team. “Our team worked extremely hard to prepare for each conference, and I was very impressed with the effort they all put in,” he said.
College third-year Walter Lamberson, Vice-President of Model U.N., also enjoyed the camaraderie. “The best part was really how much fun we all had together and how much support there was for every member of our team,” said Lamberson, who is a math and economics major.