By Jillian Risavi and Thomas Edson
Jamesville-DeWitt High School Model United Nations club did “really well” at their conference at Manlius Pebble Hill on Saturday, Oct. 25, according to freshman Lauren Saletsky and other club members said they did the same at Hilton High School in Rochester on Nov. 7.
Junior Dan McGann, freshmen Somil Aggarwal and Allie Bergman stood out at the conference at MPH. McGann won first place for Best Delegate, and Bergman and Aggarwal won Best New Delegates. At Hilton, juniors Nolan Roosa and Sargon Bebla, and sophomore Jeff Gabriel stood out, winning Best Delegate awards. Twelve other members won awards at that conference according to MUN Club adviser Jamie Crawford, winning Outstanding Delegate or Honorable Mention awards. Senior Hunter Siegel thinks that everyone performed at a high level, “It’s really hard to say who did a better job because we are all just that good.”
At the conference in Rochester, one J-DHS MUN member represented the club at a noteworthy level. Senior Amanda Mikesell was the Under Secretary General of the conference. Mikesell achieved this position by being offered an application after her performance at the Hilton Conference last year. She submitted the application and was then chosen by last year’s Under Secretary General of the Hilton Conference. As the Under Secretary General, Mikesell got to work with members of MUN clubs at other schools, and oversee the whole conference, not as a member of any delegation. “I thought it went extraordinarily well. We had very little problems. Everything seemed great and the chairs were awesome,” said Mikesell.
Outside of the weekly club meetings, members have a lot of work to do to prepare for the conferences. Members spend between one to two hours outside of meetings doing research on their topic and countries. Delegates are given their countries/topics three to four weeks prior to the conference. Each delegate must then write a position paper using reputable online sources and talking to other members of MUN to help prepare their arguments. Student-Officers of the club also have another weekly meeting to make sure everything is going well.
Saletsky said that she likes to debate with others but doesn't enjoy all the work that goes into the club. Sophomore Andrew Barclay said that he enjoys being involved with people and “making friends that you wouldn’t ever have met without doing the club.” Others enjoy the competitive atmosphere at each conference and learning new information through their research. Ms. Crawford enjoys “seeing (the students’) preparation pay off. It’s neat to see them take on (the role of a country in the delegation), even if they don’t agree with it.”
Their next conference is on Jan. 9-10 at Syracuse University.