College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Model OAS Team participates and represents Haiti in the national conference in Washington DC

Cal Poly Pomona's Model Organization of American States (Model OAS) team recently returned from participating at the annual conference held in Washington DC. For the first time in the history of the team, Cal Poly Pomona’s Model OAS Team found its home in the Political Science Department. In the inaugural year with the department, this year’s team represented Haiti at the conference.

Model OAS at work

During the week-long experience in Washington DC, the team attended opening and closing ceremonies at the OAS headquarters, had the pleasure of attending an address by the organization's secretary general Luis Almagro, visited the Haitian Embassy to receive a briefing by the country's deputy ambassador to the OAS, and competed in the Washington Model's mock general assembly. All five teams had their resolutions pass (on average 60% of resolutions did), via a combination of their skillful diplomatic negotiating and extensive research on their topics. Several faculty from other institutions commented throughout the week on our students' professionalism, excellent resolutions, and overall great efforts to make the mock assembly a rewarding experience. 

Model OAS in Washington

The Model of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States is a simulation of the sessions that the OAS General Assembly holds according to its Charter. Student delegations of participating universities around the world represent a member state upholding the position and foreign affair policies of that country.

Ten students from majors all across the university join the Model OAS Team in January, playing the role of Haiti at the conference. The conference simulates the committee work of the Organization of American States where students are assigned to committees and learn about the dynamics of international relations and diplomacy.

Model OAS
Model OAS gives our students a unique learning experience while encouraging students development of research, writing, public speaking, and interpersonal skills. Model OAS is a forum for professional development which engages students in a variety of activities, including reviewing resolutions and providing support for committee chairs. Once in Washington, students are encouraged to “learn by doing” and given the freedom to faithfully represent Haiti to reach consensus on the issues presented.

To prepare for the April 1-5 conference, team members spent the spring semester researching Haiti’s stance on various issues. At the conference, they represented the country in multiple committees and collaborated with other student delegations to write resolutions.

The team is advised by Robert Nyenhuis, who also teaches the spring semester course.