Model UN takes annual trip to D.C. conference

By Madison Hurr, Production Editor

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The Model United Nations club took its annual trip to the 51st North American Invitational Model UN conference (NAIMUN) in Washington, D.C. from Feb. 13-17. This year will be the club’s eighth year attending the conference.

After winning several awards last year and being named a competitive delegation by the Model UN organization BestDelegate, the club is anticipating a successful year.

“One of our main goals this year is to come home with awards and to increase participation and speaking in committees,” senior and Model UN officer Gloria Samen said.

The popularity of the club has grown exponentially since its formation. The club started out with 12 members seven years ago, and has increased to 120 this year.

“We want to see an increase in passion and interest in topics that involve international relations, human rights violations, and stimulating the world economy,” Samen said.

Due to the soaring popularity of the club this year, the application process became more stringent. This year, applicants were required to write a full position paper on a current event in which they took a stance and provided a solution for a crisis, like the one in Syria. About 150 people applied, but only 120 were admitted.

After becoming a stronger and more serious competitor at the conference last year, club sponsor Paul Jacobson hopes to “really compete and win awards” this year.

The conference serves as a great learning experience for students interested in debate and foreign relations, and an unforgettable weekend with friends from school and new ones from all over the world.

Before going to the conference, members are assigned a country and a committee. Committees range from disarmament and security to world health. Delegates then research the topic they choose from their committee, like civil rights or drone proliferation, and write a position paper from the viewpoint of the country they are representing.

“Researching and writing a position paper can be tough, but it’s definitely worth it when you are well prepared when debating in committee,” junior Edmond Lee said.

When not in their committees, members can go out for dinner around Dupont Circle and attend guest speaker lectures. There is also a delegate dance on the last night of the conference where CHS students dressed up for the theme Valentine’s Day.

“I really enjoyed the conference last year because I got to learn about a lot of different places around the world,” sophomore Maya Kohli said. “This year I am looking forward to being able to collaborate with new people and get a new viewpoint on things.”