UHS Students Attend NAIMUN Conference in Washington, D.C.

UHS Students Attend NAIMUN Conference in Washington, D.C.

Nour Khayat, Staff Writer 

From Feb. 17 to Feb. 20, 12 delegates of University High School’s Model United Nations (MUN) Club went to Washington D.C. for the North American Invitational Model United Nations Conference. 

The conference was hosted by Georgetown University and this year is the 59th iteration of the invitational. The event hosts over 3,300 delegates from all over the word, where the students discuss real-world issues and attempt to identify solutions by working with others.

UHS Students Ryan Alavi, Arjun Chaturvedi, David Chen, Daniel Delpassand, Shivani Hukkeri, Alex Kimm, Samuel Wang, Sophia Wang, Claire Wen, Katherine Yu, Kerry Zhang, and Joshua Zhou were selected to attend the NAIMUN conference this year.

12 delegates were selected for the travel team based on their experience in MUN as well as their awards in each of the committees they attended,” senior and Secretary-General Sophia Wang said. 

The selection process was inclusive to all grade levels and took into account delegates’ ability to work with others.

“It’s largely based on your involvement in the club and your performance at local MUN conferences. However, we also consider how well you work with others, and your responsibility. After all, we are largely independent for most of the trip,” junior Samuel Wang said. “The selection is very open, so we had members from all four grade levels going on the trip, which I’m really glad we could do.”

The conference consisted of 18 hours of debate over the course of four days.

“[Committees consisted of] around 85 delegates on average. We had mics for speeches and a big room to gather for caucusing. We also had around six chairs who were at the front [of the room] with mics,” junior Joshua Zhou said. 

The diplomatic sessions included several assigned topics discussed and analyzed by delegates in separate conferences. 

“Throughout the session, there would be continuous speeches where delegates would discuss a position or solution. My topic was environmental protection and worker and consumer rights, so there were a lot of speeches on child labor and government intervention,” Samuel Wang said.

When the delegates were not participating in the conference, they spent their time exploring Washington D.C.

“My favorite memory was when me and my other three friends went out at night together to walk around and grab a late night snack. I think we were awe-struck just by the feeling of being together exploring DC,” Samuel Wang said. “We were amazed by all the small things, from the crisp air to the Victorian architecture of the buildings. I feel like we just had this deep appreciation for each other and the history around us.”

Many UHS MUN delegates received awards and recognition for their efforts leading up to and during the conference. 

“Although we weren’t really familiar with the east coast MUN conference process, most of us got awards in the committee. I am very proud,” Sophia Wang said.

Delegates Katherine Yu, Alex Kimm, and Daniel Delpassand received the Commendation Award. In addition, delegates Ryan Alavi, Joshua Zhou, and Samuel Wang received the Honorable Mention Award. Delegate Kerry Zhang also won the Outstanding Award and delegate Sophia Wang won the Book Award for her work on the novel Wu Zetian’s Court. David Chen won second place for the NAIMUN essay contest. 

“This was our first in-person out-of-state conference since COVID, so many of us were getting out of our comfort zones. Besides the awards we won, I’m grateful for the experience we gained,” Samuel Wang said.