VAMUN 37 Conference Recap

by Aaron K on December 6, 2017

The following is a guest post from the USG of Delegations Shivani Saboo from VAMUN 37.

The 37th annual Virginia Model United Nations conference saw another year of debate and personal growth for delegates and conference staff alike. From November 17th-19th, over 1,000 delegates from 50 schools participated in the simulation at the historic University of Virginia. Nearly 200 U.Va. students served on the VAMUN 37 Staff.

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The VAMUN 37 Secretariat and Chair and Crisis Director Corps after Closing Ceremonies in Old Cabell Hall.

Keynote Speaker Charles Blaha, Director of the Office of Security and Human Rights in the U.S. State Department, kicked off the conference at Opening Ceremonies. Mr. Blaha, a former foreign service office, spoke about the importance of being curious and intellectually humble in debate. He embodied the spirit of diplomacy that VAMUN hopes to impart to its delegates. Blaha also hosted a roundtable discussion with a small group of delegates on Friday morning.

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Keynote Speaker Mr. Charles Blaha speaking at Opening Ceremonies in Old Cabell Hall.

This year, VAMUN expanded from 24 to 31 committees to make sure crisis committees were smaller and more interactive. The conference also unveiled the new Eleanor Roosevelt Commission on Peace, a joint simulation of the 5 UN General Assemblies who examined the refugee crisis through specific lenses applicable to each committee. Lastly, VAMUN introduced a Novice General Assembly and a second Ad Hoc committee so that delegates of all experience levels would benefit from their in-committee experience.

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Chair Sean Rumage and Vice-Chair Andrea Eichenberger ran the Jefferson Committee on Diplomacy, an ad-hoc committee.

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Delegates at VAMUN 37 were always eager to participate in debate and respond to the latest crisis update!

Outside of committees, delegates had opportunities to eat on the famous UVA corner, explore the Grounds on guided historical and admissions tours, enjoy a delegate social, and meet with representatives from the admissions office about potentially becoming a Wahoo.

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Delegates explore Charlottesville on the famous UVA, Corner, all with their trusty orange bags!

Delegates at VAMUN 37 not only did well, they also did some good. VAMUN partnered with the Refugee Outreach Club this year to raise money for those directly affected by the issues the global issues delegates debated, and raised over $2,135 for the cause. By donating money in committee and sending candy grams to each other, delegates were able to build strong friendships with each other. Delegates also took part in a friendly competition to raise the most money on a per-capita basis to hold their final committee session in the Dome Room of U.Va.’s Rotunda, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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SOCHUM Chair and Vice Chair Alex Smith-Scales and Katie Novak incentive their delegates to raise money for charity by sporting wigs as bright as the VAMUN backpacks! SOCHUM raised the most money per capita and held their final committee session in the Dome Room of the Rotunda.

VAMUN 37 is proud of every delegate for contributing to thoughtful debate and learning something during conference weekend. The following schools had the greatest number of students with truly exemplary performance.

Delegation Awards:

Best Large Delegation: Langley High School

Best Small Delegation: Bishop Ireton High school

Outstanding Large Delegation: John P. Stevens High school

Outstanding Small Delegation: The Hive School

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Representatives from each school claim school awards from Secretary-General Ankita Satpathy and Under-Secretary-General for Delegations Shivani Saboo at Closing Ceremonies.

Congratulations to all, and on behalf of VAMUN Secretariat, thank you for a truly incredible conference weekend. VAMUN 38 is already hard at work, and can’t wait to see you next fall!

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