How can we solve the world’s problems in a peaceful way? How can we create sustainable solutions that meet the needs of everyone?
Kathleen Bannon and nine fellow members of Bryant's Model UN club headed to Harvard University to seek answers to these questions as participants in the Harvard National Model United Nations, a four-day conference modeled after sessions of the United Nations, a worldwide governing body that strives to achieve peace and security for all nations through international cooperation.
“It's amazing to talk with people about their insights and what they want to see in the world—people just like me who really want to make the world a better place.”
Harvard's conference is the longest-running college-level Model United Nations in the world. The four-day event held in February included over 2,000 delegates from more than 200 colleges across 60 countries. They gathered to diplomatically debate and propose solutions to the world’s most pressing issues.
“It's amazing to talk with people about their insights and what they want to see in the world – people just like me who really want to make the world a better place,” noted Bannon, an Honors student majoring in Politics & Law with a concentration in Economics.
The Bryant club members represented Greece. To prepare for the conference, they spent weeks researching and debating, writing position papers, and reviewing parliamentary procedure.
“We're able to really dive into the perspectives of countries other than the United States.”
Once at the conference, the learning opportunities continued. The Bryant students served on a variety of committees, including those focused on NATO, and legal, economic and financial affairs. They honed their skills in public speaking, writing, and collaboration; learned about different cultures from other delegates, and more.
"An attendee will meet someone from Brazil, from Ghana, from the Netherlands and get to learn so much about people and seeing politics and global issues from another point of view,” says Kaitlyn Greenberg '22, a Global Studies major and President of Bryant's Model UN club.
Bannon, who hopes to pursue a doctorate in political science, agreed. “We're able to really dive into the perspectives of countries other than the United States, which is incredible."
She expressed gratitude for Bryant's opportunities "to think of ourselves as international citizens. It’s the idea that no matter what our perspective is or where we come from or where we're going, we're all going to be responsible for the future.”