IAA Debate Team wins Best Large Delegation award
Penn beat 3,000 others at the National Model United Nations Conference this Sunday
February 18, 2013, 12:41 am·
The Penn International Affairs Association’s Intercollegiate Debate Team took home the award for Best Large Delegation at the Harvard National Model United Nations Conference on Sunday.
Over 3,000 students from more than 40 countries competed at the conference this weekend. Twenty delegates represented Penn.
Representatives from each team debated in various mock-UN committees, where issues of international importance were discussed among members.
The best delegates in each committee were given awards based on their performance. The award for Best Large Delegation was determined by the per capita number of awards given to each team.
This is the sixth Model United Nations conference that Penn’s team has attended this season and the fourth conference in which the team has won the award for Best Large Delegation.
Its previous best delegation wins were at Yale, Georgetown and Duke universities.
“Based on our finishes last semester and at Harvard, we currently sit as the number one United Nations team in the U.S.,” College senior and Director of Intercol Alex Haber said.
According to Haber, the strongest teams going into the conference were Penn, Georgetown University and the University of Chicago.
He added that he was “pretty confident” going in, but also “pretty nervous.”
However, his anxiety did not last long because 16 teammates took home individual awards — including six best delegate awards, eight outstanding awards and two honorable awards.
Winning best delegation was “an incredibly emotional moment” for College senior and IAA President Arka Mallela.
“We’ve been trying to get this for the past three years,” he said. It feels great finally winning it, he added.
But Haber thinks this is only the beginning.
“If things stay on this path for the rest of the semester, we will come out as the best Model UN team in the world,” he said.