Michael McLean - Maxwell School of Syracuse University by lifemate


									Mclean                                                                                       1

Mike Mclean
MUN Reflection Paper
Dr. D’Amico
May 4,2010

       I had applied to MUN last year and was very disappointed when I was not

selected as a delegate, however I realized that my skill set does not lie in the Middle East

and Syracuse was representing Libya. That is why I was so excited when Syracuse was

chosen to represent Peru this year. I may not be an expert on Peru, but I figured my

experiences in Latin America would make me an excellent delegate. That is why I

decided to apply once again this year. I was ecstatic when I found out that I was selected

to be part of the team, and even better my good friends Genevieve and Krista were also

selected. The entire process from preparation to the actual conference was one of the

most enlightening experiences of my colligate career. I was a little unimpressed with

international organizations after my fall internship with the OAS, but after experiencing

MUN I can say that I am beginning to see the worth in these types of organizations.

       The preparation for the conference put me slightly out of my comfort zone. I had

never had a class that was set up quiet like IRP 470. I knew that it was designed to be a

workshop, but I guess I could not really conceptualize how it would go until I actually

attended class. I was slightly intimidated coming into the first session. I knew that

everyone on the team would be very accomplished but I didn’t realize they would all be

really interesting and friendly people as well. I would have enjoyed getting to know all of

the delegates in a more informal setting a little sooner in the semester. We all go get

drinks now and hangout outside of class, however this didn’t start happening until we got

back from the conference. I think the team would build much stronger bond and be a
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more competitive unit if they were to have more informal get together before the

conference. Maybe a potluck (using typical food from the country being represented) or

movie night would be something to consider.

       In regard to the more academic portions of our preparation sessions, I thought

there was a nice balance. I never felt overwhelmed with the workload, but did feel

challenged. The panel of Peruvian students was very informative and it was enlightening

to get the Peruvian perspective, since we had to represent this perspective as best we

could. I really enjoyed speaking with Dr. Mathiason, however I did not feel prepared to

write a resolution after his session. He gave us a very good overview of the process and

the concept of resolution writing, but I felt that going into the conference I did not have a

grasp on how to really write a resolution on a technical level. The only reason I was able

to contribute to writing a resolution in my committee is because I teamed up with another

delegation that had extensive MUN experience. Perhaps before our session with Dr.

Mathiason it would have been beneficial for students to have written draft resolutions and

gone over them with him.

       The actual conference for me was absolutely amazing. When Mert told us how

intense some of the delegations were, I didn’t really believe him. However, literally at the

opening ceremony a kid came up to me and asked me how many conferences I had been

to and told me that he had been to 6 already and would be happy to help me out if I

wanted. I just nodded and walked away as quickly as possible. Although, the conference

was full of these types of people, I also met many very interesting and kind people as

well. The coalition we formed in committee was full of these kind and interesting people

from all over the world. It was amazing to me that someone from Germany representing
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Uruguay and a person from the United States representing Peru could work together in

such a productive and collaborative way. It may sound corny, but the MUN conference

showed me how cultural understanding can build strong relationships that transcend

borders, nationalities, political ideology and ethnicities.

       Although I loved my time at the conference, I still had some issues with how the

event was managed. I feel that is just too large and that the organizers either need to make

another conference or begin to limit the number of delegations present. Not only was it

inconvenient at the hotel when you had to wait for an elevator for 20 minutes, but the

opening and closing ceremonies had issues as well. The fact that some delegations that

traveled immense distances didn’t even get to go into the great hall at UN headquarters

for the closing ceremony really bothered me. I stayed for the closing ceremony and

witnessed UN security basically throwing out a girl from Montreal with tears in her eyes

because they would not allow us in the great hall. We arrived four hours early for the

event and were still in the over flow rooms for the ceremony. I was furious with how I

and the other delegates were treated by not only UN security but also MUN staff, if they

can’t handle the size of the conference they should control its growth better, it’s just

logical. I had the opportunity to bump into the Secretary General of our conference at the

hotel after the closing ceremony. I expressed my appreciation for her hard work and how

much I enjoyed the conference, but also took the opportunity to express my discontent

with how the closing ceremony was handled. She apologized and said that since she will

be on the board of directors next year, she will make sure to bring the issue up for review.

Although she might have just said this to get rid of me, I feel that it was my responsibility
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to express my issues with the conference so that it can become stronger and better


       The overall experience of MUN from preparation to the conference to our

debriefing sessions was something I will never forget, and greatly assisted my academic

and professional development. It is a shame that Maxwell administration does not feel the

same way about the program, however after the meeting myself and Christine had with

the Dean, I feel we now have a good line of communication open. He seemed to be

receptive to utilizing student representatives from the team to target donors. He stated

that donors want to see a face to where their money is going, and that he will keep us in

mind whenever he talks to a donor that might be interested in the program. Hopefully this

will be away to avoid a course fee, and may even lead to more cooperation between

Maxwell administration and the undergraduate program.

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