WCHS successfully hosts Model UN conference


Photo courtesy of Caitlin Murphy

Members of the WCHS Model UN Club finish their annual NAIMUN conference with different awards for their hard work and dedication to think of ways to solve worldly problems.

By Diya Kachoria, Photo Manager

With the Winston Churchill High School Model United National Conference (WINMUNC) taking place on the weekend of Dec. 9, WCHS’s Model UN Club is excited to execute what they have been preparing for since the summer. During conferences, students take the role of a specific country and collaborate with others in order to put the country’s best interests at priority. Both returning and new members are eager to host the conference at WCHS and invite a variety of schools across the DMV to compete against each other. 

“This year marks our third year hosting WINMUNC, and our first in-person iteration,” WCHS junior Pavani Durbhakula, the Director General of the club, said. “We began preparing for this year’s conference during the summer, and members of our secretariat have been working basically every day to make sure everything is ready for the day of the conference.”

The conference is held from the evening of Dec. 9 to the evening of Dec. 10. Throughout the two days, students represent a country and communicate with others from schools around the area, debating and forming alliances to make a resolution that others will agree upon.

“WINMUNC hosts middle and high schools from around the DMV area. This year, we’ll have over 15 schools and over 250 student delegates in attendance,” Durbhakula said. “Churchill is lucky to be part of such a diverse and talented Model UN circuit, and every team brings something unique to the conference.”

Topics have already been picked out before the conference, and most participants come into the conference prepared to take a stance that they hope others will agree with. Issues like reproductive health rights protection and the rights of climate-driven refugees are some of the heavier topics that will be discussed in this conference. These topics are chosen with a purpose in order to build skills and knowledge throughout the conference that are relevant in our world today. 

“Our 10 committees offer a diverse set of topics, ranging from discussions on contemporary inflation and central bank digital currencies in our Federal Reserve committee to historical re-interpretations of Italian Unification in our secret society committee, the Carbonari,” Secretary General Roman Messali said. “The more challenging topics presented to delegates in our committees will demand delegates to do extensive research on topics from their country’s point of view and develop innovative solutions.”

When they are not preparing for conferences, the Model UN club enjoys participating in different activities during their meetings that help members improve debate, public speaking, and research skills. These activities allow students with similar interests to connect with one another.

“Our club has a lot of fun traditions for activities during our meetings, including funny speaking practice activities such as ‘filibusters’ and ‘speaking brackets’,” Durbhakula said. “We build a team community through these meetings and through the conferences we attend together. We strive to continue cultivating this community and building upon our team traditions throughout the year and beyond.”

WCHS Model UN members are looking forward to their hard work paying off when they host and staff the WINMUNC conference. They are also excited to give other students at local schools a chance to form connections during the conference that they can use in the future. Model UN can lead to friendships that continue not only throughout the weekend, but for all of high school. 

“Beyond the opportunity to travel to engaging conferences around the DMV and meet delegates from across the country to tackle pressing global issues, incoming students should join Model UN next year to join the growing community we’ve spent the last several years cultivating,” Messali said. “I believe our community is a leadership space at Churchill, with mentorship connecting you with opportunities to create impact outside of committee.” 

The WCHS Model UN Club is taking advantage of other opportunities around the DMV in the next few months. The annual North American Invitational Model United Nations (NAIMUN) conference is taking place in D.C. during January, and students are able to communicate with a wider range of students with more thoughts and solutions to offer to the table.

“Model UN has honestly been a life-changing experience for me,” Durbhakula said. “I’ve become more aware of international relations, been empowered to get involved in activism, gained confidence in public speaking, and grown my leadership skills. Most of all, Churchill’s Model UN community has been so welcoming and supportive, and I’ve met so many amazing people that I’m beyond lucky to call my friends.”