The University of Calgary Model United Nations team returned from its Nov. 11-14 Philadelphia competition on a victorious high. The team placed second after Yale University in a two-way tie with Harvard.
The Philadelphia Conference is the largest Model UN conference in the world in the Fall semester. As the only Canadian school participating in the 60 university, 1,200 student competition, the U of C delegation proved themselves in an international field.
"I am extremely proud of the team," said team president Ben Perrin. "When the U of C is mentioned in the same breath as Harvard and Yale, you know we did really well."
The U of C students won 10 individual awards of a possible 12, including Top Delegate Ben Perrin and Outstanding Delegates Duncan Wojtaszek and Arthur Olson.
"We were able to show that we have a valuable contribution to make." said Perrin. "We were able to represent Canada extremely well. This is the highest we have ever been able to achieve."
The team received a small grant from the Students' Union and sponsorship from the Centre for Strategic and Military Studies, but almost all of the $13,000 cost was absorbed by the 13 participants.
"The university delegation was able to bring a lot of positive press to the U of C," said Perrin. "We do a lot of direct recruiting from high schools. I believe the U of C is now using us in some of their promotional literature. We would definitely appreciate any funding in the future."
The students involved were Ben Perrin, Duncan Wojtaszek, Arthur Olson, Eirik Feir, Nicholas Gafuik, Shuv Majumdar, Oliver Bladek, Michelle McCann, Pierre Poilievre, Veevek Thankey, Vithya Gnanakumar, Erika Dempsey, and Bonnie Leung. According to Perrin, all members showed an outstanding level of commitment and dedication to the competition. They may have had just a little bit of fun as well.
"Everyone showed an overwhelming sense of teamwork and dedication," said Perrin. "We enjoy the camaraderie and have a lot of fun on these trips."