Monroe Township High School participated in and was awarded Outstanding Delegation at the Model United Nations (MUN) conference held at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, Pennsylvania from January 5 to January 7, 2018.
Only four other schools received the Outstanding Delegation award, which is awarded for excellent participation in debates and discussions.
MUN is a three day learning conference where students are introduced to the operations of the United Nations with more than 2,000 people attending annually.
MUN is a youth-driven program since high schoolers are the ones who execute and plan this event for other high schoolers. It highlights the themes of collaboration, cultural understanding, and problem-solving where students learn to develop their debating skills, become a leader, and find his or her voice.
There are four prime pillars that the program focuses on. First is to find your voice. At the conference, leaders strive to empower young people to speak up, start debate, better their persuasion skills, and construct effective arguments in a collaborative environment.
Second is to develop global understanding. Since having a firm understanding of cultures and international issues is needed in the real world, the conference strives to expose students to new cultures and expand their horizons.
Another one of the prime pillars is to serve others. One of the beliefs in MUN is that leadership is about service, which is a belief that is fundamental in the program. For example, delegates who are leaders help their less experienced peers.
MUN’s last pillar is to build community. Bonds and connections across diverse backgrounds are created in this three-day conference.
Freshmen Raiva Shroff said, “We debated over different resolutions. First, we were assigned to a country. Based on the country you got, you were put in a specific committee. I was in general assembly C. At the conference, we worked with other countries that had similar views on topics. We learnt about how different countries felt about topics. Some topics that were discussed were the human right to education, environmental conservation and international trafficking. Overall, it was a great learning experience and I would like to continue next year.”
MUN members prepare materials to become a United Nations ambassador. Each student (delegate) must do research on a variety of topics and be prepared to defend and debate the position held by his or her country. The delegate must be prepared to undertake negotiations and improvise speeches explaining the country’s position on the assigned topic.
Students also must prepare documents, including research papers, draft resolutions, and more.
Freshmen Shelly Singhvi said, “MUN is a great experience in which we debated based on the research we did about a country that we were assigned. I was assigned Malaysia, and I was in SocHum B. That stands for social humanitarian and cultural. We wrote resolutions for real world problems. Once the resolution was presented, the rest of the countries debated on whether or not they would like this resolution to be passed. The community is very calm, yet competitive. Each committee has their own chairs, and the committee elects the next chair on the final day. Overall, the conference is amazing.”
There are over 2,000 participants at the conference and about 30 students are elected as chairs and 20 students are elected for the Conference of National Affairs (CONA), which will be held in North Carolina in summer 2018. Three Monroe students were chosen for CONA this year – senior Pranav Mallampalli, junior Rayan Yousazafi, and senior Darsh Patel.
How can MUN help you become a more well-rounded student?