M-A Hosts First Model UN Conference to Great Success

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On October 28th, M-A’s Model UN club hosted the first Menlo-Atherton Model United Nations Conference (MAMUNC). The conference was piloted by both M-A’s club and the Golden State Independent Delegation, which consists of student delegates from schools around the Bay Area. Students gathered in the PAC Cafe for the opening and closing ceremonies to listen to junior and Secretary-General Arden Margulis*, who expressed, “immense pride in what we achieved together.” The rest of the conference was spent debating in reserved G-Wing classrooms.

Delegates in the Council of Fables committee

Model UN is a simulation of the United Nations (UN) where delegates represent different UN committees of their assigned countries, all collaborating in the spirit of the UN. It’s an activity for students who are interested in practicing public speaking, writing, debate, and researching foreign relations. Some students also have the opportunity to become “chairs,” or judges, that moderate committees and determine which awards are given to delegates. Awards include “Best Delegate” or “Best Research”. 

“[Model UN] is wonderful for improving my public speaking skills, and talking to my peers about our common interests is really enjoyable,” said Silvana Schmidt, a junior who participated in the Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC) committee.

On top of UN-based committees like ECOSOC, there were also specialized committees featuring more unique premises, such as the Barbie Constitutional Convention chaired by junior Ella Thomson. “One delegate brought tearaway pants and ripped them off to reveal swim trunks. He did win best delegate,” Thomson said.

Award-winning members of the Barbie committee with their chairs

The Council of Fables crisis committee, chaired by Sahana Chockalingam, a junior at Mountain House High School, tasked delegates with embodying different mythological characters—like Puss in Boots or Loki—to fight in a make-believe ‘mythology war.’ “Crisis updates usually follow delegate actions within the crisis committee, so we heavily rely on chairs and the crisis notes we get,” said Dev Arun, a junior at Foothill High School who served as the committee’s Crisis Director.

Matilda Kratz, junior from M-A and Director-General of the conference, ran around frantically for the duration of the event checking on committees. “I had fun myself; it was a stressful day, but it was pretty rewarding after seeing all the people happy and enjoying it,” she said. “It has been over a year in the planning. We did work over the summer primarily, and, since August, we’ve been grinding at it. It’s been a long process.”

Delegates during an unmoderated caucus

Co-Secretary General Sreekavya Nimishakavi, a junior at Santa Teresa High School, said, “The conference began at 8:30 and ended after 6:00, adding up to almost 11 hours of hard yet rewarding work. We had a lot of hiccups along the way but at the end of the day we made it through.” 

This hard work received glowing reviews from participants. Ridhima Seelam, a freshman at Mountain House High School, said, “The conference was really nice, and well-organized.” “I think Model UN is a fun thing that everyone should try once in their life,” said Christian Ha, a junior at Saint Clare High School. The event was an overall success, and may be the first of many Model UN conferences that M-A will host.

The Model UN club meets every Monday in G-15 during lunch. To get notified about upcoming meetings or conferences, join their Remind using the code @mamun23 or follow their Instagram, @ma_modelun.

*Arden Margulis is also a journalist for the M-A Chronicle.

Jonathan is a junior at M-A and is in his first year at journalism. He hopes to learn more about his community and issues within it. Outside of school he enjoys listening to music and relaxing with friends.

Brian is a senior at M-A with a storied history of journalism. His favorite stories to write are about school, local and state policies, and politics. He enjoys creative writing, and plays chess in his free time.

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