By Elizabeth DiGennaro
Poverty. Peace. Trade. Policy. These are just a few of the issues that world leaders and Model United Nations delegates alike deal with every day. Jamesville- DeWitt High School’s award-winning MUN team recently travelled to Hilton High School in Rochester for yet another successful two-day conference. “We did so well, and we’re so proud of all our new delegates. Freshmen and sophomores won awards, which is really outstanding,” says junior and MUN vice president for marketing, Amanda Mikesell. In all, the club won 16 awards, including two-thirds of the conference’s best delegate awards.
On Friday, Nov. 15, J-DHS’s delegates travelled to Hilton, where the conference would take place for the next two days. First, delegates attended opening ceremonies before beginning their committee work. “(The conference) began with a riveting opening speech by Kit Miller, who spoke of pursuing nonviolence in everyday life,” says Tal Frienden, junior and MUN vice president for membership. Miller is a key speaker for the Gandhi Institute, an organization advocating a peaceful and sustainable world, which was chosen as the charity of the Hilton Conference.
After opening ceremonies, delegates worked in their committees with breaks for meals until the closing ceremony, which took place on Saturday. “(Committee) entails representing a country and debating topics which we’ve done extensive research for, with the purpose of creating a resolution, or a comprehensive solution for a problem,” explains Frieden. Delegates must prepare for their committee sessions by learning international law and by researching a problem and what their country’s standpoint on the topic would be. “It really helps with public speaking, and gives you a better understanding of global awareness,” says Mikesell. At the end of the conference, an award ceremony takes place in which awards are given out to distinguishable delegates. At Hilton, many of these awards went to delegates from J-D.
The secret to their success? A mentoring program which supports new and inexperienced delegates. “We provide a lot of training for new members, with advanced delegates giving support to their mentor groups of new delegates. This is helpful in teaching research, writing, and speaking strategies,” says Frieden. “We’ve really created a family experience with the mentoring program. Now, young and old delegates know each other,” adds Mikesell. This additional support has guaranteed that all J-D delegates are now well prepared and ready to represent their countries at conferences.
Hopefully, J-D MUN’s success will continue at their upcoming events. “Soon, we’ll be attending the CNYMUN conference, which is hosted by Fayettville-Manlius High School,” says Mikesell. CNYMUN will take place Jan. 10 and 11. This year, the club will also be attending an international MUN conference at Boston College.
So, next time you see a J-D MUN delegate, think of them not as a student, but as a successful international delegate.