UHS MUN Delegates receive numerous accolades in online conferences

Krutik Patel, Staff Writer 

UHS delegates have won several awards in the recent Model United Nations (MUN) virtual conferences, with 27 delegates receiving honors in conferences and committees. The most recent competitions include UHSMUN Fall 2020, the BEARMUN Berkeley Conference, and the Tustin High MUN Conference. 

The following UHS students won special distinctions at the UHSMUN Fall 2020, BEARMUN Berkeley Conference, and the Tustin High MUN Conferences: Ryan Alavi, Neha Bhardwaj, Arjun Chaturvedi, Daniel Delpassand, Sumanaa Gnanashanmugam, Liam Horan, Ella Huang, Shivani Hukkeri, Andrew Ke, Alexander Kimm, Tracy Le, Andrew Lim, Nima Movahedi, Karina Nanda, Mila Nenadic, Tanush Paradeshi, Sydney Quatch, Julie Sakamoto, Darsh Verma, Samuel Wang, Sophia Wang, Yihan Wang, Katherine Yu, Allison Yue, Christina Yue, Kerry Zhang, and Joshua Zhou. These achievements represent accolades of various types including: Best Delegate, Outstanding Delegate, Research, and Commendation.

The competitions’ online format changed the way many delegates experienced conferences, with some competitors stating that the online format made conferences less engaging and more frustrating. 

“Online conferences are a lot more different,” sophomore Joshua Zhou said. “The experience is just not as it used to be as being in-person is much more interactive and fun.”

Digital conferences have also posed novel challenges to the competition atmosphere. 

“Online conferences are definitely a lot more impersonal and the technological difficulties can be extremely frustrating at times,” junior Sophia Wang, who won both the research and best delegate awards, said.

Although many students were dissatisfied with the experiences that the online conferences provided, history teacher and MUN advisor Ms. Genevieve Oakes believes that MUN was easily able to transition into an online format.

“Zoom works well for hosting conferences,” Oakes said. “Each MUN committee has a different Zoom link with breakout rooms being used for caucusing.”

Oakes also remains optimistic for online conferences due to both the delegates and the organization efficiently learning and adapting.

“2020 is tough with so many restrictions and limitations on our normal behavior, including MUN,” Oakes said. “Even though everyone is learning as we go, I have been pleased with both the organization of the conferences and our delegates’ performance at them.”