As the 2016 Washington Model Organization of American States concluded, the Hampden-Sydney College delegation learned valuable lessons and strengthened the College's ties to the event.
On the fourth day of WMOAS (You can read more about their experience here and here.), Ben Bardill ’16 and Edward Robinson ’17 found themselves in a diplomatic quandary. As representatives for Panama, Bardill and Robinson realized they had made a mistake by supporting Venezuela's resolution to create a European Union-style trading block for South America. Bardill says, "The currency they proposed, the Sucre, is not stable nor recognized as a means of exchange. Also, the creation of a South American trading block goes against the mission of the OAS, in a way. We learned throughout the semester that our PDR's had to benefit Panama, but more importantly, the resolutions had to benefit the entire hemisphere. Clearly, Venezuela's resolution did not do that." Through parliamentary maneuvering and diplomacy, Bardill and Robinson got Panama removed from the cosignatory list of Venezuela's resolution.
On the final day of the Model OAS, two Hampden-Sydney students were elected as officers of the next Model. Alex Abbott ’17 was elected vice president, and Robinson was elected vice chair of Third Committee. The week was full of hard work and little sleep for the students representing Panama. They were also excellent representatives for the College, and the Model recognized the delegation for its "exuberance" in peer support for Panama's candidates during the elections.