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Model UN delegates head to Texas conference

Six members of Lamar University’s Model United Nations delegation (MUNLU) will be attending the second annual TexMUN conference January 15-17 at the University of Texas at Austin.

Founded by a not-for-profit educational foundation, the Osgood Center for International Studies, TexMUN will allow students continued experience in a competitive environment in preparation for their NMUN NY (National Model United Nations New York) conference in March and other future events.

LU students at mock UN conference The opportunity to attend TexMUN was called to the attention of MUNLU director Amir Fakhravar toward the end of the fall semester, after student delegates had returned from Washington, D.C.

The student delegates had believed their next opportunity to compete would be at NMUN NY.

“One of our presiding goals as an organization is to soon have the resources available to assemble a high school conference at Lamar University,” Fakhravar said. “The TexMUN conference came to my attention, and I knew the students had to go. TexMUN will give us unique ideas about how to model our own possible conferences in the future while also giving the students more experience and a confidence boost.”

Student delegates Dillon Nicholson of Port Arthur, Nathan Henry of Winnie, Travis Guillory of Lake Charles, Alejandro Guadian of Jasper, Miroslava Zendejas of Baytown, and Savannah Parfait of Vidor will be splitting up to represent both Venezuela and Iran in the World Health Organization, General Assembly 1, and Security Council.

As they did for their previous conference in Washington, D.C. this past fall, students attending TexMUN have researched a variety of topics in preparation for the conference such as the opposition sweep in Venezuela’s political landscape and the role of media in the context of international security in Iran.

“Participating in the TexMUN conference has already afforded me the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in multilateral diplomacy and world affairs,” delegate Dillon Nicholson said. “Beyond the fact that researching for the conference has allowed me to further explore an area of interest—Venezuelan politics—I feel it’s also another contribution to my overall experience at Lamar.”

The TexMUN conference will feature opening speaker Laura Khor, who is well versed in the topics of countering violent extremism, terrorist radicalization and deradicalization, and global security. Khor completed an Expedition Everest trek to raise money for Childreach International in Nepal with a 16-member team.

The closing speaker, Isra Chaker, serves as the advocacy and outreach coordinator at Syria Relief and Development. She herself a Syrian-American, Chaker is one of the top voices advocating for the rights and demands of the Syrian people in the United States.

Model United Nations at Lamar University offers both a traditional classroom learning option and an application for general club membership. For more information or to apply for membership contact director Amir Fakhravar at (409) 880-7536.