Justine Hong, News Editor
A delegate, donning a sleek business suit, stands confidently at the podium in a massive committee room and gives a speech to thirty-some other delegates. When he is finished with his speech, he deftly answers questions that challenge his argument, effectively convincing the committee of his stance. Outside this conference he is merely a high school student, but when he debates in MUN, he is a global delegate.
From Feb. 26 to Mar. 1, the Model United Nations students flew to China to take part in an international conference, where three members earned “Best Delegate” awards and the entire team expanded their knowledge of global partnership.
Called the Model United Nations International Schools of China (MUNiSC), the conference had more than 400 delegates and 27 schools from China, Korea, and Hong Kong. It was among these numerous delegates that students Seungjun Lee, Kelvin Lee, and Justine Hong won “Best Delegate” awards of each of his or her committees.
Sophomore Seungjun Lee, who represented Australia and won “Best Delegate,” claimed it was “one of the most memorable conferences.”
A rigorous extracurricular activity, Model United Nations has students role-play delegates to the United Nations and simulate UN committees. These simulations occur at MUN conferences, which are organized by high schools or universities. At the end of each conference, outstanding delegates of each committee are recognized through the awards of “Best Delegate.”
An exciting conference overall, the students described their highlights of the trip. Seungjun explained that the highlight for him was debating over his resolution, or the formal text adopted by a UN body. He described, “When we debated clause by clause and eventually the entire resolution, we were very confident in our paper because we put a lot of effort into it. We were able to give confident answers to questions and give inspirational speeches to other delegates.”
However, sophomore Matthew Choi, the delegate of Mexico, claimed that his highlight was team bonding. “Spending time with the entire MUN club was my highlight,” he said, “I felt like every day was a great day.”
Junior Kelvin Lee expressed that he loved meeting old friends and making new ones. He explained, “It’s good to get to know these friends; you never know when they’re going to help. It’s really good to have allies. And I think every MUN contributes to that, getting to know a more global society.”
Representing Italy, Kelvin too won the Best Delegate award. As one of the club’s leaders, Kelvin helps teach the members with his well-founded MUN experience. Considering this, he admitted, he wasn’t entirely surprised when he was presented the award.
“I’m a pretty experienced MUNer,” he said, “and I prepared well for this MUN over the break, so I knew I was a strong candidate. I didn’t have a hundred percent confidence, but I knew I was a strong candidate.”
Seungjun, on the other hand, was very surprised upon receiving it. “My first thought was: ‘Is this true?’ There were a lot of experienced delegates in Security Council, and most of us participated really actively during the conference. I never thought I would get the award.” he confessed, “I was just really thankful for the chairs and the other delegates who gave me the opportunity to participate in such a meaningful and valuable conference.”
The two also discussed what makes a successful delegate. Kelvin believes that thorough research and confidence helps you succeed at the conference. He described his preparations for MUNiSC, “I researched a lot of information about how other countries contributed to the issues, and then I made resolutions that all countries could agree upon. One thing that was really important was how much confidence I had in myself, because with confidence I could talk more to other people and stand at the podium.”
Seungjun also emphasized that “researching about your topic is important, but even more important is confidence and having faith in yourself, and really trying to deliver your ideas and opinions in a sincere manner.”
Through this conference, the entire club came closer to becoming successful delegates. Matthew explained, “Being in General Assembly made me think more actively. It made it much more fun.”
With the experience and knowledge gained from MUNiSC 2014, the MUN club now looks to what lies ahead. Kelvin described his goals for the upcoming months. “A lot of the students have the potential of becoming better MUNers so I’m going to set up specific tips and documents that can help these people. Based on my experience, I’m going to create more information-based documents that I’ll teach this year.”
He says he’s “really proud of the MUN club and I hope the club keeps growing.”