Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Tulane Represents Haiti at Model OAS in Washington, D.C.

April 18th, 2012

A group of ten Tulane students traveled to Washington, D.C. on April 3 to participate in this year‘€™s Model Organization of American States (MOAS). As representatives of the Republic of Haiti, the group was comprised of five committees, each with a head delegate. This five-day trip was part of a semester long course taught by Professors Edie Wolfe and Martin Mendoza.

The delegation in front of the White House.

MOAS functions as a fun and rewarding way for students to learn about the intricacies of the Organization of American States, including parliamentary procedures and committee practices, as well as gaining an extensive knowledge of their assigned country and its international policies. The Model also gives students skills that they can apply to other areas of their academic and professional lives. As senior Robbie Dean explains, delegations are required to represent their respective nation regardless of personal ideologies that may be in conflict, and ‘€œthrough this practice of role-playing, students can learn about how to tackle an issue from both sides.‘€ Another member, Brynn Rurianni, added that despite her initial hesitation to speak up, by the second and third day she was “gathering similar delegations to discuss how we should vote. I quickly assumed a leadership role in an unfamiliar environment.”

Seniors Robbie Dean and Kyrsten Melander representing Haiti.

Despite all of the hard work and long hours that the students put into the Model, they also managed to find some time for fun while they were in the capital. Brynn Ruriani noted that the group was able to “make friends with students from different schools, practice [its] Spanish speaking skills, and go out at night with the different delegations.”

Dressed up for a evening out.

Robbie Dean, who has participated twice in MOAS, encourages other Tulanians interested in public policy in Latin America to participate: ‘€œI see this course as perfect for any students with a passion for the region and aspirations to contribute to the development and cooperation of the nations of the Americas.‘€

Haiti + People
Arachu Castro
Senior Associate Research Fellow - Samuel Z. Stone Chair of Public Health in Latin America