MUN travels to Boston for cross-country conference
February 14, 2017
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From Feb. 9-12, fourteen members of Model United Nations competed in BOSMUN XVI in Boston, MA. Led by MUN teacher Jonathan Todd, delegates participated in a three-day conference at Boston University in which committees ranged from the U.S. Senate to the Futuristic Security Council of 2030.
“We decided to go to Boston because it was a new experience or a lot of us. Aside from the conference being exceptional due to its one-of-a-kind committees and highly professional atmosphere, Boston is a place we thought could offer a lot,” said senior Secretary-General Olivia Vera. “With a lot of prospective students of MIT, Boston College, Boston University and Harvard, we could tour where some of us could end up for the next four years. Also, the city with its colonial background has unparalleled history and remarkable museums.”
Students stayed at Boston Park Plaza, only minutes away from popular sites like Boston Common and Chinatown. Aside from competing for the coveted “Best Delegate” award, students spent time touring colleges, visiting museums and walking through the city.
“Aside from partnering with Amy You, my favorite part of the trip was definitely the sightseeing. I’d never been to Boston before, so it was interesting to see the history, museums and remarkable lifestyle. I visited Harvard and Northeastern, and my chairs told me about Boston University,” said junior Ella Steinbach. “I gained a lot of insight on what it would be like to live on the East Coast. The blizzards were pretty cold, but we had a lot of fun trudging through the snow.”
LBHS students competed in unique committees; most were subsections of the broader, more standard Economic and Security Council, General Assembly and Crisis. More specific committees included Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Muammar Gaddafi’s Cabinet, Sons of Liberty and Fall of the Chinese National Party. Committees held from 20 to 100 delegates.
“My committee focused on the refugee crisis. In light of recent events, it was interesting to understand the cultural, political and economic factors that affect a country’s position. As Somalia, I wish to restore political order in my country through atypical alliances,” said senior Katya Cox-Kruger.
Attendees related how the interaction across committees was a unique aspect of BOSMUN.
“My joint-crisis committee allowed us to discuss solutions to the Berlin crisis that both sides would approve of. Another delegation, Press Corps, visited committees to interview delegates and report on recent updates. Their blog was active the whole time, and they even had a Snapchat story,” said Vera.
From Friday night through Sunday afternoon, delegates spoke in moderated caucuses, formed resolution groups and rallied for their cause. Part of the conference included a Delegate Social and Dance in which the students could bond with kids from all over the country.
“Going to a college conference was an eye-opening experience for me. It was interesting to see the different styles of competition within the committee. Overall, it was amazing to have the opportunity to work with such incredible delegates, and I will look back fondly on the experience,” said freshman Julia Henry.
BOSMUN ran typical MUN committees, but most functioned at a more accelerated and competitive level than usual. Boston University’s own MUN team is continuously top-ranked and recently won Outstanding Small Delegation at University of Pennsylvania MUN Conference.
“Although the crisis team was a bit disorganized in the beginning, they solved our problems accordingly. Every room was designed to hold its specific committee, with the largest ones held in ballrooms. For the people in the back like me, the microphone allowed us to hear every speech. During unmoderated caucuses, I could communicate outside my committee. We had lots of flexibility; committee was ultimately up to us,” said senior Billy Renner.
In the last three years, MUN has traveled to Georgetown University in Washington D.C. (2014), the New York UN in New York City (2015) and University of Chicago in Chicago (2016).
“I haven’t spent much time in Boston until now. Even with temperatures under 20 degrees, we toured museums, colleges and the Mapparium, a huge, stain-glass globe made in 1935. I applied to a few colleges here and could see myself living here despite the blizzards,” said senior Claire Black.
After more than twelve hours of debate, delegates attended closing ceremonies. Junior Charlie Hoffs of Chinese Warlords earned a verbal commendation. Junior Ella Steinbach and junior Amy You of Dual Disec and junior Joey Ravenna of the Congress of Vienna received honorable mentions. Freshman Julia Henry of SOCHUM won the “Outstanding Delegate” award. Junior Spencer Finkbeiner brought home the “Best Delegate” award.
“I did not expect to win. I worked in committee, but there were so many intelligent and competitive delegates. The highlight of the entire committee was the dance-off of Saudi Arabia and Iraq versus Brazil and Germany. I lost that competition, but I won committee in the end,” said Finkbeiner.
Back at home, MUN is preparing for their fifth annual host conference, LBIMUN, to be held on March 25 at LBHS. Conference Coordinators Joey Ravenna, Alex Bonnin and Billy Renner have been working since August to prepare for the arrival of over 600 delegates, a record number for the conference.
“We have some really interesting topics, so we’re excited to see what we planned come together. This is going to be a conference different from many we attend because here, there will be a committee for every delegate. While we have the standard General Assembly and Security Council, we also have fantasy committees on The Walking Dead and Star Wars. After months of training chairs, coordinating registrations and deciding committees, we’re finally settling the details,” said Ravenna.
As for the rest of the year, MUN will be attending Claremont McKenna College MUN on April 4-5, Whitney High School MUN on May 13 and their Intersquad final in June.
“I’m really happy with how the conference went. We took delegates from all grades and did really well, so I think that is going to bode well for our future. I’m very excited to get home and to continue work on our own conference in March. Even though the weather was tough, this may have been my favorite trip,” said Todd.