MUN wins individual awards at Harvard

Clio Rao, Contributing Writer

The school’s Model United Nations (MUN) team competed in a conference at Harvard University from Thursday, Jan. 30th to Sunday, Feb. 2nd. Seven members won best delegate awards, nine won outstanding delegate awards, and three won honorable mentions. Harvard was one of their largest conferences in terms of the sheer number of competitors, according to Secretary General (SG) Arman Kumar (12). “It’s a championship conference, and it’s always held at Harvard,” Kumar said. “It’s definitely the largest, and one of the most competitive conferences that we go to.”
The conference also serves as practice before the largest, most competitive one of the year. “The most competitive conference we go to is in 11 days, at Georgetown,” Kumar said.
Faculty advisor and Biology Lab Manager Alison Woolford led the trip along with Kumar, and Secretary Generals Eliza Bender (12) and Noah Fawer (12). 25 students attended: eight seniors, seven juniors, seven sophomores, and three freshmen.
“Being one of the freshmen on the trip, it was a really educational experience for me, and I learned a lot from being there,” Jacob Silverstein (9) said.
“The championships are important to determine the team’s ranking, and there’s more competitive schools that go,” said Ria Chowdhry (10). “Overall, they’re just more competitive than the others.” This conference was also before the team’s biggest of the year, which, according to Chowdhry, will have many competitive teams, including Dalton, HM’s rival.
The team had an eventful weekend. “We competed Thursday night, all of Friday, all of Saturday, and Sunday morning,” Kumar said.
According to Chowdhry, each day was full of activity. “We had committee sessions every day, and after that we did moderated caucuses, the more formal debate. After that, we did unmoderated caucuses, the non formal version.”
“Everyone on our team who went to the competition represented China. My topic was terrorism in the age of the internet,” Kumar said. “Other team members talked about similar concepts from the Chinese point of view such as possessions of nuclear weapons, and a student talked about issues in Crimea.”
According to both Chowdhry and Kumar, the tournament was an opportunity for the team to bond. “It’s just such a great time being with the team, and it’s so nice to be together spending a weekend away from school together,” Chowdhry said.
The SGs had a lot to organize before the conference. “We planned out restaurants, logistics, hotel rooms, curfews, and we were in constant communication with the advisers,” Kumar said. “We started to prepare on December 24th. That was the day we sent out assignments.”
“It’s nice how close they are, and their work ethic is so good. They always do everything together, and it’s really sweet that they’re so close” said Ayesha Sen (9).
“We have two mottos as a team: ‘Continue the Legacy’ and ‘Join the Family,’ so spending time with our Model UN family is always fun,” Kumar said. The MUN team continued their legacy due to the outstanding individual delegate awards at the conference, Kumar said.
While it was filled with triumphs, the MUN team also faced challenges at Harvard. “A hard thing about competing is maintaining stamina,” Kumar said. “It’s really long and you can’t give up, so you just have to keep debating, all four days.”
“Committee can be really hard sometimes, especially with competitive delegates, and sometimes that’s hard to deal with. Also, it’s tiring, and you don’t get a lot of sleep, and there’s not much time to relax,” Chowdhry said.
“Overall, it was a really fun trip,” said Silverstein. “It was a great experience, I really enjoyed being there.’’