MUN Hosts its First Winter Conference


Katherine Yu

MUN delegates discuss strategies to become the first individuals to reach the Fountain of Youth.

Tracy Le, Staff Writer

After months of anticipation, the annual UHS Model United Nations (MUN) Fall Conference, renamed the UHS MUN Winter Conference, took place on Dec. 3. Over 70 delegates participated in one of three committees, aiming to devise different solutions to address ongoing global challenges, including the Venezuelan Refugee crisis, the Armenia and Azerbaijan territorial conflict and racing to be the first individual to reach the Fountain of Youth as characters from “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

This year’s MUN Winter Conference head secretariat seniors Katherine Yu and David Chen, advised by Social Studies Department Chair Ms. Genevieve Oakes, helped organize and guide the mainly senior members chairing the event to ensure the conference ran as fair and smoothly as possible.

“Months before the conference date, we began discussing committee and chairing logistics with our advisor, Mrs. Oakes, who has been heavily involved with the planning this entire time, and we’re all grateful for her dedication and support,” Yu said. “We also spent a lot of time choosing the best topics for our delegates to make sure they can have the best experience.”

Freshmen Divya Agarwal, Nethra Iyer, Artiri Saha, Sodongoo Sodtuya, Kasra Sarafian and Justin Wu along with sophomores Shanmukh Bachhu, Rachel Chen, Quinne Davis, Sarah Eintracht, Joshua Hsi, Rustin Jafarkhani, Bruno Rodriguez Diaz, Joseph Lipets, Jayden Sanchez, Andre Saphores, Ryan Shababa, Benny Tsabba, Yihan Wang, Claire Wen, Cameron Weng and Evan Zhong received at least one award at the conference. Most notably, freshmen Sodongoo Sodtuya and Shiva Goyal as well as sophomore Ryan Shababa won the Best Delegate award.

First-time MUN Winter Conference delegate Sodongoo Sodtuya was grateful for the program’s personalized feedback and used the conference as a chance to broaden her skills as a MUN delegate.

“The UHS MUN Winter Conference experience was definitely a fun and educational one for me because our committee’s chairs were awesome,” Sodtuya said. “They were really patient and supportive even if we did not know what we were doing at times. It was an open space where you could make mistakes and learn from [them] in order to not make the same mistake again.” 

Another first-time participant, freshmen Cameron Weng describes the welcoming atmosphere the conference had on first-time delegates like him.

“As one of my first conferences, the UHS environment was an opportunity to try new things as well as compete alongside my friends,” Weng said.

Some delegates expressed concern over the timing and logistics of the conference as well as the delay in delegate feedback.

“Something that could have been improved was the management and planning,” freshman Divya Agrawal said. “In the beginning, there was a bit of confusion as the name tags between the two novice conferences had been mixed up. I am also currently waiting on the scoresheets and feedback on my position papers, so I wish they would provide that to us a bit faster.”

Ultimately, many considered the event a success, with possibilities of a permanent shift from the fall to winter for future conferences.

“Although we weren’t all happy with the delay at first, I think it was the best decision in the end, as it helped us even out our schedule so that we weren’t scrambling trying to manage multiple club activities all at once,” Yu said. “The postponement also gave us more time to prepare our delegates, many of them new to MUN, for our conference. I think it was very successful in the end.”

Featuring a collaboration between different schools across Orange County, the upcoming MUN Spring Conference is tentatively scheduled for March 25 at UHS. The MUN delegates eagerly await continued research and discussion with the coming of the new year.