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UK Model UN Club Brings Home Honors From Charlotte Conference

By Richard LeComte 

group of students
The China delegation.

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Several University of Kentucky students recently participated in and received awards at the Southern Regional Model United Nations in Charlotte, N.C. UK’s Model United Nations Club represented China, Austria and Burkino Faso at the event.  

The China delegation won best overall delegation for the conference, said Alex Rahbany, the club’s president. Also, Tyler Rossi, a political science major from Lexington, won best delegate. Jaclyn Johnson, lecturer in the Department of Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences, is the club’s faculty sponsor.  

Rossi said four out of the five resolutions he sponsored passed, including one he spearheaded on the trade of illicit artifacts.  

"There's a general consensus among the body that obviously the illicit trade of treasures is just bad, and it needs to be combated,” he said. “The only disagreement among nations is how to return these artifacts. For example, the United Kingdom and Germany’s position is, ‘We'll lend them to you for a certain amount of years, but they must be returned to the museum.’ But our position as China and the global south countries, is, ‘No, we want our artifacts back for good.’” 

The conference helped Rossi learn to manage a group of delegates with diverse interests to pass a resolution. 

“The most challenging part was organizing everyone, especially on the topic of artifacts, because we had such a big coalition. But other than that, it was a lot of fun. Learning how to be diplomatic, despite disagreements, and learning how to cooperate with people of different perspectives and policy perspectives is key. It was fun filling in that role and playing from that position." 

The UK club gives students the chance to expand their education by preparing for and attending a Model U.N. conference. Students act as delegates from a member state in a mock United Nations committee meeting to pass resolutions.