National MUN Award Winners by the Numbers

by Ryan on April 27, 2011

Florida International University received Best Delegate in all 12 committees they participated in

NMUN published the list of awards on its website earlier today and I wanted to share a few observations.

Four schools in particular received Outstanding Delegation awards (decided by the NMUN staff) and the greatest number of Best Delegate awards (decided by fellow delegates):

  • Florida International University, representing Uruguay, received 12 Best Delegate awards in all 12 committees they participated in.
  • University of Wisconsin Oshkosh took home 8 Best Delegate awards as Namibia and Barbados.
  • Universidad Catolica Andres Bello represented Germany and received 7 Best Delegate awards.
  • Brigham Young University received 6 Best Delegate awards as the Republic of Korea and Tonga.

Of these 4 schools, FIU was the only one in the Sheraton and the other 3 were in the Marriott.

Click “Learn More” below to find out how many schools received awards!

I also did a rough analysis of award winners by the numbers (figures below are approximates):

  • NMUN gave about 120 delegation awards, which is about one-third of the schools attending. Outstanding Delegation went to 8% of total schools — Distinguished Delegation went to 11% — and Honorable Mention went to 12%.
  • The conference gave about 120 Best Delegate awards. With more than 5,000 delegates in attendance, the Best Delegates made up 2.5%!
  • Schools that won Outstanding Delegation also received 58% of the Best Delegate awards — Distinguished Delegations received 23% — Honorable Mentions received 9% — and schools that did not win delegation awards received 10% of Best Delegates. The correlation between delegation awards and Best Delegates suggests that the NMUN staff and delegates agreed overall on the top-performing schools of the conference.

I wanted to share these observations because I thought others would find them interesting. I also wanted to note that NMUN aims to de-emphasize competition between delegates and focus on cooperation. Their awards policy states:

“No one can observe every action in committee or truly judge an individual’s learning and growth. We believe participation in the simulation is its own reward. It advances understanding of the UN and contemporary international issues, and it has changed the lives of many delegates. We urge participants to maintain an appropriate perspective regarding the awards. The fundamental basis of the simulation is collaboration and cooperation among nations, which includes working together through multilateral diplomacy. There are no winners and certainly no losers.”

From my own observations of the conference, NMUN does a good job of striking a healthy balance between competition and cooperation. Delegates were intent on working together to produce the best possible resolutions and reports in their committee. At the same time, they found awards valuable — they saw delegation awards and Best Delegate as recognition of the hard work they put into preparing for and performing at the conference.

Did you attend NMUN? What did you think of the conference and its awards? Let us know in the comments below!

Additional Links

Click here to see the Sheraton awards and here for the Marriott awards.

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  • Stu

    Random post finding a flaw on this article and hating on this thread in 3,2,1…

  • TT

    I don’t think you get the points of these awards… they are not aimed at ranking schools, since they are not even delivered by the NMUN secretariat itself but by delegates in each committee. They are absolutely not about competition, but about recognition from peers.
    Ranking schools according to these awards defies the point of making them self-awarded by each committee.

    • http://bestdelegate.com Ryan

      Thank you for your comment! I actually agree with you — rankings / competition is actually not the point of this article, nor is it the point of NMUN.

      Rather, this article is about something you brought up — recognition. I think you and I would agree that each committee recognized top-performing delegates via Best Delegate awards, and the NMUN secretariat recognized top-performing delegates via delegation awards.

      What I’m aiming to show in this article is:

      1) NMUN secretariat and delegates were largely in agreement over who should be recognized as top-performing delegates. That is a great achievement for the conference.

      2) Achieving recognition at NMUN is not easy. I hope that all delegates were happy they attended the conference and learned something from the experience — “the simulation is its own reward.” But I also hope that delegates who received recognition are extra proud of themselves — only a third of schools received delegation awards, and only ~2.5% of delegates received Best Delegate.

    • Sandy

      I do not think that you understand the purpose of Ryan’s post. The purpose of his post was to highlight the schools that received the Best Delegate awards. At no time did Ryan mention anything about the awards being used for the purposes of standings. In fact, you my friend are the only one who brought up rankings. I also think that your logic is a bit off. The purpose of the recognition is in fact about based on some sort of competition. I know that the NMUN staff would like to pretend that NMUN is not about awards and not about competition, but schools would not attend if their weren’t some sort of incentive to win an award. That much is most definitely clear.

      The difference between NMUN and HNMUN is that NMUN does not have to go through the trouble of assigning which schools amongst the Outstanding Delegations are the Best Delegations. Also, how else could a delegate make the distinction between what delegates they felt were the Best Delegate than without some sort of competition? Your premise that these Best Delegate awards are in no way shape or form based on any competition is as absurd as it is fallacious. Whether NMUN or the NCCA would like to admit it or not, the very fact that NMUN and the NCCA distinguish between Outstanding, Distinguished, and Honorable delegations implies that competition does in fact matter and that it is most definitely present at NMUN.

      On to my next point, if the NMUN Staff did not think that these awards and the recognition matters, then why did they award each Best Delegate with an individual award of recognition? Last point, how else do you propose that Best Delegate come up with standings for NMUN? Please do not tell me that you think delegation position paper awards should be used to support such a ranking. After all, position papers have no direct bearing on committee performance and have nothing to do with any delegations chances of winning an Outstanding Delegation Award. Case in point: BYU, Universidad Catolica Andres Bello, FIU, and Universidad Central did not win position paper awards, yet the won Outstanding Delegation Awards. The fact that BYU, Universidad Catolica Andres Bello, FIU, and University of Wisconsin Oshkosh won a combined 33 out of 120 Best Delegate Awards says a lot more about their delegations than a position paper award would.

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