Recap provided by: Joey Donaldson, Director of External Relations
Over 900 high school delegates from schools through California and across the United States attended this weekend’s BruinMUN conference at the University of California, Los Angeles.
UCLA MUN President Mark Warwick began opening ceremonies by expressing how this year marked the 20th anniversary of BruinMUN. Secretary-General Michael Murrieta expanded upon these sentiments by illustrating the importance of Model United Nations, and how the skills acquired through this program extend beyond the parameters of the conference. The BruinMUN Secretariat arranged for keynote speaker Vice Consul of Turkey, Tolga Arslan to speak at opening ceremonies, however due to unforeseen circumstances he was unable to speak.
BruinMUN 2012 was composed almost entirely of UN-related committees. The only non-UN related committee was a historical crisis based on the 6-Days War, in which delegates served as the Egyptian National Cabinet. The Security Council was an open agenda that dealt with many dynamic issues – often erupting into chaotic crises dealing with terrorism. The remainder of the committees ranged from traditional General Assembly committees as well as specialized bodies such as ECOSOC and UNICEF.
A unique aspect of BruinMUN this year was the incorporation of novice committees in addition to advanced committees. Secretary-General Michael Murrieta stated that these committees were designed to educate newcomers to MUN and allow delegates to learn in a less competitive environment. Many advisors expressed great satisfaction with these committees, as it allowed their younger students to have a more beneficial experience at BruinMUN.
The BruinMUN Secretariat placed a huge emphasis on training and ensuring that proper parliamentary procedure was carried out in each committee. The Director of Training Vinay Mysoor expressed how chairs went through a grueling training process that culminated in an exam that tested dais members on procedures and overall committee etiquette. In addition, the Secretariat illustrated that the feedback from advisors was paramount in their improvement of BruinMUN from last year. It was their first priority to correct all concerns in order to guarantee an overall positive experience for delegates and advisors. As illustrated by the encouraging feedback during advisor meetings, it is obvious that the BruinMUN Secretariat was successful in this endeavor.
At closing ceremonies, the Best Large Delegation Award went to Cerritos High School, with the Best Small Delegation Award going to Chaminade College Prep, and the Best California Delegation Award going to Huntington Beach High School. The Bruin Award went to an independent Model United Nations group from Temecula, California that was not affiliated with their respective high school. The Bruin Award was presented to the delegation that the secretariat felt best embodied the spirit of MUN and BruinMUN.
For more information, check out the BruinMUN homepage: (http://www.bruinmun.org/high-school-conference/)