Recap provided by Amara Manoogian, USG of Community Outreach at MSUMUN
This past weekend, over 550 high school students from across the Midwest traveled to Michigan State University for the twelfth session of MSU Model United Nations, better known by it’s acronym, MSUMUN. The theme of the conference, Revolutions Start Here, could be heard echoing through the halls in the Lansing Center prior to opening ceremonies.
For the first time in three years, MSUMUN’s opening ceremonies were conducted off-campus at the Lansing Center. The epic and now infamous Opening Ceremonies Video started off the ceremony and built the excitement for the weekend. Watch it here: MSUMUN XII Opening Ceremonies Video. Speaker Dr. Hamid Abduljaber, a former member of the Department of Public Relations for the United Nations and currently a professor of Political Science and Arab Studies at Rutgers University, inspired delegates and staff alike to make a difference in their communities. He emphasized the power of one individual to make a change for the good, and this theme recurred throughout the weekend in the efforts of the delegates.
MSUMUN XII was a session of unprecedented growth. With the addition of two more committees and a Joint Crisis, MSUMUN saw an increase in attendance by nearly 75 delegates. Throughout the weekend, delegates raised money for the conference charity, NorthWest Initiative, a non-profit AmeriCorps partner, which creates in food systems programs for children in North West Lansing. Former MSUMUN staffer Christian Kelly Scott is currently serving his AmeriCorps assignment there, and was thrilled to be a part of the conference charity this year for MSUMUN. We originally set a goal of $2,000 to raise for the charity. Through the generous committee donations and sale of candy grams, MSUMUN staff, delegates and advisers raised over $2100 for NorthWest Initiative.
General Assemblies included a historical SpecPol with a crisis twist, where delegates opted to have the USSR and United States team up to nuke Belgium in the midst of the Cold War to send a message about the Belgian Congo. SocHum discussed the contentious issue of Internet access as a human right, while the Legal committee debated cloning laws. In the DISEC committee, the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict was the topic of choice, and on Saturday morning, delegates were able to Skype with MSU alum and former MSUMUN chair, Ben Rosner who is currently finishing a fellowship in Jerusalem with the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s United Nations department.
Specialized committees included the New York City Council, which tackled issues such as poverty, and in real life, raised money for our conference charity by holding dance parties. UNEP focused on clean water access and the ICJ tried cases such as Belgium v. Senegal, and Russia v. the member states of NATO. The Treaty of Versailles committee re-divided Western Europe into nations that would provide for the security of the world and prevent another war like the Great War.
Crisis simulations spanned a period of over 250 years, beginning in the American Colonies all the way up through the mid 2030s. Delegates traveled back in time to the year 1776 in the Joint Crisis: American Revolution committee. This weekend saw the Americans declare independence from the British Crown, not once but twice, and members of the British Parliament witnessed the death of George Washington. A futuristic UNSC, which took place in 2035 saw the debates over water and food security, as well as the posturing of China as the new world power in an era of new global order.
The 9/11 Commission tested the MUN waters by trying a new method of moderating committee; having delegates chair! This was overwhelmingly successful, as delegates were able to learn the process of chairing while still participating in committee and gaining tips from the experienced MSUMUN staffers. Testimonies included a memorable appearance from “Former President George W. Bush and Former VP Dick Cheney,” and the Secret Service among other notable guests. Truman’s Cabinet: Prelude to the Bomb, the WHO-Pan America, and the 25 January Youth Coalition: The Egyptian Revolution experienced their fair share of crises; the A-Bomb was dropped by the end of the first committee session, so delegates were dealing with the “fallout” for the next two days. The WHO was quarantined twice, and the delegates in the Egyptian Revolution witnessed the kidnapping of “fake delegates” at the start of committee.
Closing Ceremonies was an emotional experience for all; delegates had to say goodbye to friends new and old, and graduating seniors were honored. With a tear in her eye, graduating senior and Secretary General of MSUMUN, Kaitlynn Colbert officially closed MSUMUN Session XII. It was a memorable weekend, and we can proudly say revolutions truly started here.
Best Large Delegation: Mattawan High School
Best Small Delegation: Edsel Ford High School