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MOAS team
MOAS team, after winning in San Antonio, TX

Texas State students show their debate skills at national MOAS

May 2011—Prowess in parliamentary debate earned 12 Texas State students an invitation to participate in the Model Organization of American States (WMOAS), held in Washington, D.C., March 29-April 2, 2011.

The invitation came after the students won seven of 12 awards in regional MOAS competition, held in San Antonio in November 2010. In MOAS, students use parliamentary debate to address the economic, educational, political, and security issues facing the Americas today.

In Washington, D.C, Texas State students represented the Republic of Peru.  WMOAS participants came from universities in the U.S. and Latin America (see sidebar).

“It was a special experience for the students to be able to debate a resolution in the Hall of the Americas at the Organization of American States headquarters, two blocks from the White House,” said Dr. Ben Arnold, Lecturer in Political Science and MOAS team adviser. After the competition, the students visited the Peruvian Embassy and received an in-depth briefing from the head of the Embassy’s political department.

Although the WMOAS doesn’t give awards, the Texas State students debated effectively, Arnold said.

“In a ‘you-had-to-be-there’ moment, team members Nickolas Spencer and Justin Gonzalez used their knowledge of parliamentary procedure and diplomatic tact to stave off a scheme to table their resolution; they were then, despite initial opposition, able to pass their resolution almost unanimously. Two years ago, our team would not have been the target of such strategic maneuvers, nor would we have been able to defend against it,” said Arnold, explaining that the Texas State team’s reputation for acumen had preceded it to the competition.

Also, team member Casandra Johnson earned respect for her effective chairing of one of the WMOAS’ five committees, Administrative and Budgetary Affairs, Arnold said.

    U.S. Colleges and Universities participating in WMOAS:
Baylor University
University of Kansas
United States Air Force Academy
Tulane University
California Polytechnic
Providence College
Drexel University
St. Lawrence University
College of Notre Dame
College of Charleston
Shippensburg University
Towson University
Hampden-Sydney College
Frostburg State University
Plattsburg State University
University of the District of Columbia
Park University
Bloomsburg University

International Colleges and Universities:
Universidad de Chile
Universidad de Guyana
Universidad EAFIT
Universidad del Norte
Universidad Central de Venezuela
Escuela de Ingeniera de Anttioquia
Universidad Casa Grande
Universidad de la Sabana
Universidad Francisco Marroquin
Universidad Nacional de la Matanza
Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana


The team representing Texas State at WMOAS included Sarah Cryar, Francesca Di Troia, Myles Duelm, Mason Ellis, Laura Garza, Justin Gonzalez, Samuel Hillhouse, Casandra Johnson, Julie Mercer, Reghann Nail, Juliana Salcedo, and Nickolas Spencer.

In regional MOAS competition in San Antonio in November 2010, the team won more awards than any other university present at competition. Award winners included:

Krystal Thomason and Francesca Di Troia (Outstanding Delegate, General Committee and Distinguished Ambassador, General Committee)
Jodee Bruce and Myles Duelm (Outstanding Delegate Integral Development)
Casandra Johnson and Alejandro Gutierrez (Outstanding Delegate, Department of Legal Cooperation)
Julie Mercer and Juliana Salcedo (Outstanding Delegate, Inter-American Committee on Human Rights)
Mason Ellis and Abel Valencia (Distinguished Delegate, Integral Development)
Patrick Kellner and Joshua Carroll (Distinguished Delegate, Department of Legal Cooperation)

Serving in leadership positions at the MOAS in San Antonio were:

Javier Reyes (Secretary General)
Aimee Furry (Parliamentarian)
Dillon Jones (Chair, Inter-American Committee on Human Rights)
Abygail Knapp (Vice-Chair, Integral Development)

Two students were elected to serve at large for the entire MOAS:

Francesca Di Troia, Secretary General
Casandra Johnson, President