The Ivy League Model United Nations Conference (ILMUNC) hosted by the Penn International Affairs Association (Penn IAA) celebrated its 30th anniversary this past weekend by welcoming 2700 delegates to the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown. ILMUNC is known for its balanced between substantive quality inside the committees as well as social and educational programming outside the committees, and the conference emphasized its billing as “the championship conference.” The conference was praised by advisors for its professionalism and quickness in responding to questions, and students who had not previously attended ILMUNC noted the high level of competition at the conference relative to other conferences of similar size.
This year’s Franklin Legacy program benefited Room to Read and the conference raised over $2600 for charity. John Wood, the CEO of Room to Read, was the keynote speaker and spoke about Room to Read’s goal of reaching 10 million kids by 2015. The organization has already built 1725 schools and 16,300 libraries filled with 13.3 million books.
Delegates spent four days making speeches, participating in moderated caucus, negotiating during unmoderated caucus, and ultimately merging and voting on draft resolutions on a variety of twenty-four UN committees and crisis committees. Here are some photos of delegates in action from the conference. However, readers can find many more photos at the ILMUNC Photo Album on the Best Delegate Facebook page.
During Closing Ceremonies, Director-General Stephanie Vabre reflected on how she was at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown just 3 months and 17 days ago for Penn IAA’s college conference, UPMUNC, and how in 3 months and 17 days later her senior class will be graduating together. Personally, this was a touching moment as I had “grown up” in my role at Best Delegate with this class; Stephanie was a freshman ASG with the conference during the first time I liveblogged ILMUNC and I still remember her holding the camera when I was interviewing then Secretary-General Zach Stone. It may be a bit early, but shout out to the Penn class of 2014 on your upcoming graduation!
Of course, Model UN is a cycle where young delegates grow into positions of leadership, and it is very rewarding to see that process. Several delegates who I had met while liveblogging high school conferences are now ASGs for the conference. Best Delegate Media Associates Julian Bava and Shreshta Balanchandar are now participating at ILMUNC as a delegate and staffer, respectively. Nine Best Delegate Summer Programs alumni were in attendance at this conference, and it was great to see everyone again. And of course, it was great to catch up and meet all the ILMUNC staffers and high school delegates who were also at this conference last year.
Best Large Delegation: Horace Mann School
Outstanding Large Delegation: J.P. Stevens High School
Best Small Delegation: Choate Rosemary Hall
Outstanding Small Delegation: Jackson High School
Best International Delegation: Colegio Puertorriqueño de Niñas
Horace Mann defended their Best Large Delegation award at ILMUNC by winning the most gavels of any team. Horace Mann was particularly strong in the General Assembly committees. With Horace Mann’s win at ILMUNC and Dalton’s win at HMUN on the same weekend (we liveblogged HMUN as well), the attention now turns to NAIMUN where the two New York City rivals will finally get a chance meet head-to-head this season.
J.P. Stevens attended ILMUNC for the first time as they have traditionally spent this weekend at HMUN. Therefore, it was the first time for many of the Mid-Atlantic schools to meet J.P. Stevens even though they are based in New Jersey. The team finished with the most Outstanding Delegate awards of any team and got some help with a good delegate-to-awards ratio to capture the Outstanding Large Delegation.
Several traditional powerhouses that have attended ILMUNC for many years also performed well. The Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology performed particularly well — their Head Delegate remarked it was their best performance since the 1990s — and in fact TJ had the highest weighted score and second most gavels of any team at ILMUNC. Langley High School and West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South also contended for a delegation award. Huntington Beach High School did well with a smaller team as most of their team was back home hosting their 900-delegate Surf City MUN conference the same weekend (we liveblogged Surf City as well). Langley and Huntington Beach notably sent balanced teams as both teams’ two countries scored equally well. Franklin High School and Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School also had solid performances with multiple individual awards.
Choate Rosemary Hall has improved against increased competition and took home the Best Small Delegation award this year. Jackson High School flew in from Wyoming to ILMUNC for the first time and put on a good performance to capture the Outstanding Small Delegation award. Colegio Puertorriqueño de Niñas has been attending ILMUNC for several years — they were joined by many other fellow Puerto Rican schools this year that decided to switch to ILMUNC — and was able to reclaim the Best International School award this year. Other teams that did well include the Trinity School, Brooklyn Friends School, and Richard Montgomery High School.
Congratulations to the entire ILMUNC team for putting on a great conference! Thank you to Devin DiSabatino, Stephanie Vabre, Jeffrey Nadel, and the entire ILMUNC team for having me visit.