This recap has been provided by Surf City Model U.N.’s Secretary General, Cole Glenwright
Huntington Beach High School Model United Nations hosted its tenth annual Surf City conference on February 1st-2nd, which attracted just under-eight hundred delegates from across Southern California. For many schools, Surf City has become a permanent fixture in their conference rotation, and many of the nation’s top schools – including Best Delegate-ranked Cerritos High School and Mira Costa High School – returned to Huntington Beach to square off at what is considered one of the most competitive conferences on the Southern California circuit.
Surf City X featured twenty-four committees, including traditional GAs, specialized agencies including a new Historical Security Council, and a four-way Crisis Simulation combining cabinets from Israel, Egypt, and Palestine with the UN Security Council. The Crisis Simulation, which was led by Directors of Crisis Simulations Matthew McDermaid and Marina Elmore and Director-General of Technology Elijah Goble, made use of video updates and live footage of delegates to connect the some seventy-odd delegates who participated in the simulation in real time. The Crisis Simulation culminated in a Joint Summit where delegates and delegations presented their varying resolutions on several Middle Eastern conflicts, as Faculty Advisors and the Crisis Staff looked on. Surf City X also debuted two Regional Councils, the African Union and the European Union, both of which functioned as partner committees.
The conference staff and Secretariat built Surf City X around a series of “Strategic Goals”, one of which was to increase the role of technology both in and outside of committee, and the results of their work could be seen in every committee room. Each committee was equipped with a Committee Folder, which allowed delegates to draft and edit resolutions in a collaborative fashion through Google Docs, and then allowed the Dais to easily project resolutions for presentation during formal caucus. Catering to Faculty and Student Advisors, Surf City X also introduced DaisLINK, HBHSMUN’s new system for connecting advisors with their delegates and each committee’s Dais. DaisLINK, which was password protected and only available to advisors, allowed chairs to seamlessly share the number of speeches and comments a delegate had made, their place on the speakers list, and provide feedback on their performance in real time, without interrupting committee.
While flashy new tech initiatives may have been the highlight of the conference for many delegates and advisors, Surf City’s real reputation is built on its dedication to a quality program. Dais Chairs began work over three months ago, when they published ten-page Topic Synopses, and monitored a system of forums prior to the conference to continue updating delegates on developing situations. The HBHSUN Advisors also take special pride in ensuring that all of their chairs conduct themselves with only the utmost professionalism, and a rigorous training system helps chairs learn how to run a productive, competitive committee.
The conference ended with an Awards Ceremony in HB’s gym, which, although plagued by technical difficulties, was generally appreciated for it’s rapid pace and lack of “filler”. Mira Costa delegates took home a Best Large Delegation Award, which they shared this year with Cerritos. Santa Margarita Catholic High School claimed the Best Medium, and Best Small went to Mission Viejo High School.
It took a staff of over seventy-five HBHSMUN delegates and over a dozen parent volunteers to pull of Surf City X, which goes on record as being the largest Surf City conference HBHSMUN has ever hosted. And yet even as the staff celebrates their accomplishments, preparation is already well underway for Huntington Beach’s Novice Conference, which is due to celebrate its 35th anniversary on April 27th.
Surf City X was planned and executed by HBHSMUN Secretaries-General Cole Glenwright and Robert Giambone, who are advised by Mr. Bill Harmicar, Mr. Shaun Haney, and Mrs. Melany Aiken Brundage. For more information on HBHSMUN, visit their website at hbhsmun.webs.com.