University’s Model UN team earns highest-ever ranking
The team was ranked sixth in the nation last fall
Best Delegate only in recent years recognized American University as one of the best teams in the circuit. In 2014, the team wasn’t even ranked in the top 50.
“AU has always been the third school in the rankings - it goes Georgetown, then GW, than us - but I think we’ve done a really good job of surpassing all of the expectations we had,” junior Josh Iseler said.
Zachary Bontempo, the AU team’s head delegate, said that he believes they have done well this year because of the 17 first year students the team brought on in the fall semester.
“We just had a really good freshmen class, very talented and intelligent people who have given it their all,” Bontempo said. “They have really helped us to succeed this year.”
When the team went to the National Collegiate Security Conference (NCSC), one of the biggest conferences held by Georgetown University, new members only had about a month to prepare. The team’s weighted total allowed them to finish in first place, beating schools ranked in the top five.
“It showed that all of our training and hard work that the freshmen who had just got on the team put in during the first five weeks paid off at NCSC because they proved that all the training they did could translate to a good performance at a conference and that they could win awards,” Bontempo said.
Sophomore Emma Horseman said that their performance this past semester can be credited to the group’s leadership. Zachary Bontempo and assistant head delegates Mehak Chadha and Mike O’Connor lead the team.
According to members, Bontempo and the other leaders encourage and foster an environment that is more like a community and family rather than just an academic team. They said they are all very comfortable with each other and spend a lot of time together.
“We are able to judge each other well in terms of placement and strategy and that helps us do well compared to other groups that operate simply as a team and competitive group,” sophomore Raj Dhage said.
Bontempo hopes the growth of the team will continue this semester as well as their place in the rankings.
“We are on par with really phenomenal schools,” Bontempo said. “It is great to see that every conference we go to builds up to that and in the end we have something to look at.”