The following recap was provided by McKennaMUN 2014 Under Secretary General for Finance, Shriya Ravishankar.
The 2nd annual McKennaMUN conference brought together 460 students from 24 different high schools for a weekend of substantive debate on a wide variety of topics. Delegates debated spent the weekend debating topics that ranged from crucial historical issues such as the Rwandan Genocide to Drug Trafficking in Central Asia within twelve unique committees. The conference was comprised of three General Assemblies, three Economic and Social Committees, five specialized committees and one highly competitive crisis committee. Students had the opportunity to debate highly contentious political and socio-economic issues through the eyes of state diplomats, military actors, and other state actors.
McKennaMUN II was held from April 12th to April 13th at Claremont McKenna College’s (CMC) campus, and a big theme for the conference was giving students “the CMC experience.” Delegates got the chance to listen to a variety of CMC professors speak on relevant international relations, negotiation, and global-economic topics. Delegates and advisors alike were given a view of collegiate-esque lessons, while enhancing their understanding on their respective committee topics. Outside of committee, delegates received a unique social and learning experience. As part of the CMC experience, the CMC staff and secretariat made chocolate covered strawberries to distribute to all the delegates in order to simulate a very quintessential CMC experience that is the Athenaeum Tea. The conference attendees also raised money for the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST), a LA-based non profit that provides legal and rehabilitation services to victims of trafficking in the United States.
Within committee, delegates came up with innovative and insightful resolutions to some of the world’s most challenging questions. Carly Lenderts, chair of the DISEC committee, was particularly impressed by her delegates’ ability to navigate a topic as challenging as the use of chemical weapons and come up with resolutions that encompassed the themes of border control, improved regulation for chemical manufacturers, and mutual diplomatic agreements to curb the problem. Sean Sakaguchi, the chair of the APEC committee, was equally fascinated with his delegate’s ability to steer the committee into a more interactive simulation, while coming up with a comprehensive resolution to question of regional economic integration.
Delegates also had the opportunity to attend the Claremont Colleges’ Annual International Festival. This festival that features food, performances, and cultural show cases by a variety of nations represented in the Claremont Colleges, allowed students to experience yet another essential part of the CMC experience. In the evening, students were invited to a social that included a photo booth, and live band comprised in part by members of both the McKennaMUN secretariat and staff. Delegates were given a chance to mingle with their chairs and fellow delegates and secretariat over live music!
By the end of the conference, every chair echoed the sentiment that level of competition was so high that giving out awards was one of the most challenging parts of their job. This was especially the case given the fact that till the last minute, many committees’ resolutions were being merged and voted on. Listed below are the delegation awards given at the end of the conference:
• Outstanding Small Delegation: Walnut High School
• Best Small Delegation: San Marino High School
• Outstanding Large Delegation: Huntington Beach High School
• Best Large Delegation: Santa Margarita Catholic High School