This conference recap article was provided by Siddharth Muchhal, President of SouthMUN.
After a successful fall and winter season on the travel circuit, West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South’s MUN Team held their Fourth Annual South Model United Nations conference at their campus on March 25th, 2017. Boasting seven committees and over 330 delegates from across the tri-state area, SouthMUNC IV became the largest one-day conference in New Jersey.
The conference began with speeches from the senior club officers (President Siddharth Muchhal, Vice Presidents Timothy Feng and Malay Trivedi, and conference Secretary-General Angela Weng). Then guest speaker Jacob Shapiro, a professor at Princeton, discussed the complexities of rational discourse in the modern world. Afterwards, delegates were sent to one of seven committees.
SouthMUNC IV hosted classic General Assembly committees such as DISEC and SOCHUM but also had unique simulations, such as the Syrian Peace Accords. Some delegates went back in time, travelling as far as the year 44 B.C. to partake in the Roman Senate; others, to September 2001 as advisors to President Bush in a time of national crisis. In the flagship Ad-Hoc Committee, delegates represented the Cabinet of the Dalai Lama, taking on the role of the exiled Tibetan government as they dealt with issues of violence and legitimacy.
Beyond facilitating committee logistics, the secretariat worked to improve the overall delegate experience. SouthMUNC partnered with Relay for Life, a charity that fundraises for the American Cancer Society, to sponsor candygrams.
The conference was staffed by over 40 SouthMUN members, many of whom regularly participate in the travel team that won Best Small Delegation at PMUNC, Outstanding Medium Delegation at RUMUN, and Outstanding Large Delegation at NAIMUN this year. The staff was trained to use their conference experience to hold SouthMUNC to national MUN standards, and push delegates to keep exploring the crises and issues of the past and present.
Schools with established Model UN teams, such as JP Stevens, East Brunswick, and WWP North were in attendance. More importantly, many schools sent a delegation for the first time, allowing SouthMUNC to serve both experienced and new delegates. “We were really happy to see a lot of new and old schools attending. The level of debate was also incredibly high,” said conference Secretary-General Angela Weng.
Throughout the year, the officers split up the work of the travel team and SouthMUNC in order to achieve success in both. While Muchhal led the team training, Weng organized conference logistics. As the conference date drew closer, the officership began prioritizing SouthMUNC preparation. “SouthMUNC is definitely the most important part of our yearly schedule. While national conferences come and ago, SouthMUNC is something we pass down to future generations of this club and to future delegates from around the Northeast,” Muchhal said.
At closing ceremonies, the secretariat thanked the advisors and delegates for attending, before announcing individual and delegation awards, where the award of Best Delegation was given to John P. Stevens High School.
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