The Northern Virginia Model United Nations circuit was buzzing this past weekend at the Thomas Jefferson Model United Nations Model United Nations Conference: TechMUN, hosted at J.E.B. Stuart High School in Langley, Virginia from April 10-11.
This two-day conference hosted a slew of eclectic committees for both high school middle school delegates – twenty committees to be exact – with immersive topics such as “Human Rights of Prisoners” in SOCHUM and “Nuclear Science for Food Security” in the IAEA.
A Middle School Focus:
In Middle School committees there were the Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC), The Social, Cultural, and Humanitarian Committee (SOCHUM), the European Union (EU), and the UN Security Council (UNSC). The Thomas Jefferson staff and secretariat took creativity and effectiveness to great lengths to challenge middle school delegates, with heavy topics such as the Eurozone Economic Crisis in the EU, or Illicit Arms Production in DISEC.
Tackling the Challenge of Creativity:
The High School committees were also a stage on which Thomas Jefferson flexed their creative muscle with sixteen committees: the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Commission on Outer Space, the Global Health Summit of 2050, the Afro-Arab Summit, the G20 summit, the US Senate 2015, the Fortune 500 Summit, the Taskforce to Combat ISIS of 2016, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the French and British Cabinets in JCC Napoleonic Wars, the Gotham Mob, the JCC Jennifer Government US alliance and Team Advantage, the Washington Redskins, and finally the Secretary General’s Ad Hoc Committee.
Hosting twenty committees with over 640 delegates is an impressive feat for a high school conference, and Thomas Jefferson did it in stride.
TechMUN & its Preparative Process:
Planning one of the largest conferences hosted by a High School in the Northern Virginia took intensive training and individual preparation for the Thomas Jefferson students.
Each committee was separately assembled and crafted to pertain to the enjoyment of the delegate, with a heavy focus on skill-building and interactive discussion. Secretariat member, Shohini Gupta, recalls:
“Planning for TechMUN started in November when we decided on staff positions, and from there everyone really took charge of their own realms to make TechMUN come together.”
The TechMUN Experience:
Thomas Jefferson was a conference that attracted one of the most competitive Model United Nations circuits in the nation: the Northern Virginian Model UN community. TechMUN’s foundation was built on their interaction with the surrounding community – including schools like Langley High School and Garfield High School – and has cultivated an atmosphere of enjoyable competitiveness that was evident in each TechMUN committee room.
Delegate Audrey Fahlberg described her satisfaction:
“I was in the Napoleonic Wars JCC in the French cabinet. Although at first I was sure that the direction of committee would follow history, France was successful in tactfully extending its influence over the entirety of Western Europe, winning the war. The chairs were awesome, the conference was well-run, and I can’t wait to come back next year!”
Chair and Thomas Jefferson Model UN delegate, Chitra Kokkirala, agrees:
“Being a chair at TechMUN was one of the most reflective experiences I have had throughout my time at TJMUN. I got to experience how Model UN from a chairs perspective. As my committee’s topic was combatting ISIS, I got to see how delegates evaluated and tackled the problems at hand. It was especially nice to see delegates who were so engaged in the topic and fun to interact with them. Overall, I don’t think I could have had a better time at TechMUN.”
TechMUN Looking Forward:
As Thomas Jefferson emerged from a second successful year of TechMUN, they look forward to their 2016 TechMUN goals. Best Delegate was able to sit down with TechMUN Secretary General, Sreya Atluri, and asked her what the quintessential TechMUN experience was, and what direction she sees the conference going in 2016.
- ‘It was such a pleasure to see everything come together for my last TechMUN, and it was a honor to work with everyone as Secretary-General. In terms of TechMUN 2016, I’m looking forward to further expanding on the Northern Virginia circuit (we had a record number of registrations this year), as well as continuing our theme of providing innovative and creative committees that allow delegates to display their diplomatic negotiation talents. I’m really excited about the new crisis plan we implemented this year with crisis czars, crisis directors, and crisis chairs and daises, and hope to see this continue in the future. In addition, we had a number of attractive options, such as gavel grams, candy grams, and samosas that made for a fun delegate experience in and outside of committee. Overall, I’m really excited to see how TechMUN 2016 will continue to build upon the standards of excellence we’ve established in years of hosting TechMUN!”
Congratulations to Thomas Jefferson High School for once again making TechMUN a incredible success!
Congratulations to the delegations that won awards!
Best Middle School: Kilmer Middle School
Outstanding Middle School: Carson Middle School
Best Small High School: Thomas Edison High School
Outstanding Small High School: Garfield High School
Best Large High School: Langley High School
Outstanding Large High School: McLean High School
(This Conference Recap was provided by Caroline Rose).