They came. They saw. They conquered. Again.
On Jan. 24, delegates from the University of Calgary Model UN team packed their bags and went to Montreal to defend their championship title in the 12th annual McGill Model UN Assembly. Four days later, the team returned to Calgary with the coveted blue helmet stowed safely in the overhead compartment and their reputation safe for one more year.
"As far as we know, no one has ever repeated a victory," rejoiced the Vice-President of the team and the head U of C delegate at McMUN, Nick Gafuik. "Going back as the returning champs put us at a disadvantage, because everyone knew that we were the team to beat. It was both exciting and nerve-wracking to go back."
During the McMUN competition, teams from across North America gathered to simulate the actions of several specialized agencies or General Assembly
committees of the UN. The 2002
U of C team represented the People's Republic of China in the proceedings, which caused the team some additional roadblocks to overcome.
"China was a very difficult country to represent," said Gafuik. "It is a country that doesn't have many allies. But they do have very smart foreign policies. Overall though, it was a very tough one to
Since the creation of the university team five years ago, the team has attended McMUN four times. Of those four years, they have won the John P. Humphrey Award for best delegation three times, losing only once to Harvard.
This year was no exception for world class competitors. The U of C delegation outwitted teams from well-reputed schools such as George Washington, Georgetown, Harvard, MIT, Queen's, University of Waterloo, and Westpoint Military Academy in order to bring home the honours.
"This is a major point of pride for our school and our team, and even our country," explained Gafuik. "These competitions are usually in favour of the American teams. Other Canadian schools now look to us for leadership, especially since we are a small school."
Three members of the team-Gafuik, Christopher Montez, and Reagan Boychuk-received individual honours in their committees, but Gafuik stressed the collective effort involved in the team victory.
"The delegation award was a team effort," he said. "We won because we succeeded in each area under both strong leadership and individual performance."
The team attended the competition with the aid of grants from the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Model UN Association of Canada and the Students' Union.