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SU Model United Nations Conference delegation

SU Earns Honorable Mention Delegation Award at National Model UN Conference

By SU Public Relations


SALISBURY, MD---After helping last year’s cohort of Salisbury University students prepare for the national Model United Nations (UN) Conference, this year it was Erin Bindewald’s turn to make the trip as part of the delegation representing Guyana.

She was one of 12 to represent SU at the event, with 10 – including herself – doing so for the first time alongside two veterans. Little did she know when the conference started that she and Jacob Cudmore-Maupai, on his third Model UN appearance, would be thrown into fire when faced with an escalating situation while serving on the mock UN Security Council, representing the principal UN agency responsible for maintaining international peace and security.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect,” said Bindewald, a sophomore conflict analysis and dispute resolution major from Frederick, MD. “All I knew was security council is top of the top and I needed to be on my game. Even then, it was a trial by fire. I felt so vastly underprepared when I got there, but you just have to work through that. There is no point where you can stop and decide you can’t do it. You just have to step up and rise to the occasion.”

While serving on their committee, the pair was handed an envelope marked “Confidential.” It contained a note and a tweet showing a potential invasion from their South American neighbors in Venezuela.

“We were prepared, but were not prepared for the surprise we got as it made us the center of attention for one of the busiest days of the conference and the day after,” said Cudmore-Maupai, a senior international studies major from Edgewater, MD. “Once we made that shift, we needed to be on it as much as we possibly could.”

The two learned quickly that the five permanent members — the U.S., China, France, Russia and the United Kingdom — drive discussion within the council. Needing to get a vote from the council to amend the agenda to even discuss the impending conflict, Russia – a known ally of Venezuela – blocked the conversation.

Eventually, Russia’s representatives came around and the council was able to approve a presidential and press statement that affirmed Guyana’s territorial integrity and called for a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

SU’s delegation of students served on multiple committees, and due to their strong work across the board, the University earned an Honorable Mention Delegation award.

Additional members of the SU delegation included Mohammad Aqil of Salisbury; Anna Belong of Elkton, MD; Nico Blom of Silver Spring, MD; Autumn Bryant of Spencerville, MD; Millie Goodwin of Davidsonville, MD; Geremy Mercado of Hyattsville, MD; Thabiso Ratlou of Bethesda, MD; Nina Romano of Arnold, MD; Scott Stohlman of Mt. Airy, MD; and Joseph Triplett of Millersville, MD.

Like many who participate in Model UN, Bindewald and Cudmore-Maupai hope to enter careers with international humanitarian components. The Model UN experience has reinforced those decisions.

“I think the experience really increased my passion for the whole subject of working in the UN or humanitarian assistance and anything to help people really,” said Bindewald.

SU students interested in participating in future conferences may contact Dr. Eric Rittinger, chair of the Political Science Department.

Learn more about SU and opportunities to Make Tomorrow Yours at the SU website.