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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, June 12, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesUVI Model U.N. Debates This Week On St. Croix

UVI Model U.N. Debates This Week On St. Croix

University of the Virgin Islands students will test their skills in debate, deliberation and problem-solving by taking on the roles of national ambassadors and discussing weighty matters of world security at the annual UVI Model United Nations Competition this week. The public is invited.

The competition simulates committees and programs of the United Nations, with two delegations each representing a different country. Debate will be 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday in the Great Hall on UVI’s St. Croix campus, according to a statement from UVI.

St. Croix students will represent Cuba and students from the St. Thomas campus delegation will represent Haiti. They will discuss the Cuban embargo, racism, corruption, interventionism, the cholera epidemic, deforestation and other areas of concern.

Through the competition, UVI students gain a better sense of international concerns, policies and affairs, and improve their communication skills as they learn tactics of debate, deliberation and development of solutions to world problems, according to UVI.

In order to be considered for the competition, interested students submitted a preliminary position paper. The top four students from each campus were selected to compete.

Karisa Danielson, Dizhan Hicks, JoAnn Thomas-Lewis and Rishina Williams will represent St. Croix.

The students from the St. Thomas campus are Conisha Gumbs, Maxence Jeanty, Lana Letang and Deleon Richardson.

UVI Professor Kula Francis said that the competition enhances the educational experience of the competing students. “As a result of the preparation completed by these students, they are ultimately ‘experts’ on their topics,” said Francis, who also serves as faculty advisor to the competitors.

She said the students have been preparing for the competition by conducting extensive research since January. “As much as these students are competing in a mock debate, they truly feel the urgency of many of the problems faced in these countries. These students become true ambassadors for Cuba and Haiti,” Francis said, adding that the process of participating in the Model UN is “preparation to become future world leaders.”

Even in the competition’s short history, student participants have gone on to succeed, according to a statement from the university. Magdalene Morancie, winner of the first competition in 2008, is presently in her third year of law school in Florida. Amaris Chew, the 2009 winner, is a graduate student in Public Administration at UVI.

In previous competitions students represented the countries of Cote d’Ivoire and Eritrea, Venezuela and Panama, and China and Russia. They explored topics including river blindness, child labor laws, female genital mutilation, civil war, pollutions, human trafficking and poverty.

The UVI Model United Nations Competition is an initiative of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and is sponsored by St. Croix Rotary Clubs West and Harborside.

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