Student delegates debate global issues in Chicago


(Left to right) Jordan Wilson, Cole Normandin-Parker, Kidd Stablein, Kalani Gee, Cole Hunt, Kate Gilles, Catrin Williams, Julia Henry, Deeba Saffarian-Toosi, Luke Teeple, Angelica Jorio, Avalon Brice, Lalia Cruz, Cassidy Morgan, Evan Henry, Gabi de Moraes, Grace Sauers, Zack Bonnin, Alessi Ayvaz, Timmy Crawford

Last Tuesday, 20 Laguna Beach Model United Nations delegates competed in University of Chicago’s 31st MUNUC in Chicago, IL. For four days, delegates engaged in heavy debate with other delegates from all over the world on topics ranging from marijuana legalization to space militarization.

“It was really fun to experience Chicago with the MUN team. I have been in MUN for six years, and it has consistently been my favorite class. My favorite part was meeting students from all over the world, especially the delegates from China. It was interesting to meet students my age from across the globe whose life is remarkably similar to mine,” said senior Jordan Wilson.

Joined by AP European History and AP Art History teacher Heather Hanson, MUN teachers Jonathan Todd and Jun Shen led student delegates around Chicago’s famous Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago, enjoying famous Chicago-style deep dish pizza and hot dogs along the way.

“Despite the cold–it was 16 degrees on Friday–Chicago was a really cool city. Although the conference itself was intense, it was fun to relax and explore the city during our lunch breaks. The culture and traditions of Chicago are very unique, and I had fun experiencing them with MUN,” said senior Gabi de Moraes.

Spending over 18 hours in active debate, delegates addressed both foreign, historical and modern politics. In the U.S. Senate, delegates debated everything from reforming marijuana class 1 drug status to America’s high recidivism rate, while others covered Europe’s post-war struggle between Prime Minister Attlee’s traditional government and the Conservative Shadow Cabinet.

“MUNUC offered a unique perspective on many modern day issues. I represented El Salvador in Nuclear Disarmament DISEC. We discussed issues of disarmament and threats to international peace and security. Delegates worked together to get opposing parties to mutually agree to reduce their nuclear stockpiles, if not eliminate them completely,” said sophomore Alessi Ayvaz.

From Thursday night through Sunday afternoon, delegates spoke in moderated caucuses, formed resolution groups and rallied for their assigned causes, competing alongside hundreds of other delegates from around the world.

“This conference is infamously difficult, and I am so proud of everyone who joined our team this year. I thought the group altogether was very impressive. Not only did they constantly participate in active debate, but they also worked well with other delegates to create comprehensive solutions to real-world problems,” said Todd.