27279 Anna Dillman: REACHING FOR HIGHER HORIZONS

REACHING FOR HIGHER HORIZONS

Article by: By: 27279 Officer Cadet (III)Anna Dillman

The International Affairs Association at RMC (RMCIAA) is by no means the new club on the block: it has represented RMC for the past 15 years at Model UN (MUN) and Model NATO (MNATO) conferences.

In fact, the RMCIAA has found great success in these academic competitions and has consistently won awards within the last ten years. Considering that they stack up against big-name universities such as Queens and McGill, the RMCIAA has shown that they can beat the odds with what they know best: diplomacy and leadership. But while they maintain a competitive record, this time, it is not their winning streaks that bring them recognition, but rather their very own conference hosted at RMC.

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In the past two years, the RMCIAA has invited 75 civilian student delegates from across the country to participate in a MUN that focuses on the implementation of government policy within a military setting. In both conferences, students were able to explore the campus and connect with officer cadets while still engaging in critical discussion; some of the extracurricular activities included visiting the SAT range and attending a weapons display. The success of the conferences was of twofold: not only did the delegates get to experience a different setting, but for the first time the college was able to showcase itself in a way that is rarely entertained. The delegates were not just seeing the college, but they were living within it and educating themselves on the military.

Currently, the MUN for this upcoming school year is still in its infancy, but news from the club supervisor, Dr Pierre Lepine, gives insight into what to expect: greater goals and higher horizons to reach. Dr Lepine has expressed that “The [RMCMUN] is a new initiative but has already created a positive wave within the MUN community. This year we want to expand and make it even better.” The planning stage for the conference has already begun with the focus being on “adopting a structure which will foster a greater understanding [of military policy]” as well as “finding ways to ensure its long-term sustainability.” The RMCMUN is a student-run event and requires lots of planning from college cadets, and so far it has seen nothing but success. Dr Lepine also hopes that the presence of the conference will “stimulate knowledge on international relations” among the officer cadets. He points out that“ an officer or naval cadet needs to have a very good understanding of what’s going on in the world so that he or she can properly prepare their subordinates.” In addition, Dr Lepine hopes the RMCIAA will increase cadet engagement with international relations; “Participating in conferences provides a good venue to increase knowledge on world affairs and provides an opportunity to hone skills of debate.” The RMCIAA has made quite the splash in the MUN communities in the last few years, but by the sounds of it, they are preparing to make a few more in competitions and the college itself.