This recap was provided by Clayton Southerly ‘15, the Secretary-General of the 28th William and Mary High School Model United Nations Conference (WMHSMUN).
The College of William & Mary’s International Relations Club held its twenty-eighth WMHSMUN conference with over 1,400 high school delegates and educators in attendance this past weekend in Williamsburg, Virginia. The twenty-eighth session continued WMHSMUN’s tradition of excellence and diplomatic debate that has characterized the College since its founding. Keynote Speaker Professor Lawrence Wilkerson spoke on the need for young talent with integrity in public service and the imperative of peace between Iran and the West.
The charity effort supported by WMHSMUN this year was Kiva, a microfinance organization that connects lenders with entrepreneurs in the developing world. WMHSMUN XXVIII was the most generous conference ever held on William & Mary’s campus, with delegates donating over $2,750.00 to the lending effort that will promulgate economic development long after the gavel strike closed the session.
Delegates from across the United States came to Williamsburg for innovative committees spanning a variety of topics and time periods. This year, WMHSMUN held thirteen General Assemblies and fourteen Specialized Agencies.
WMHSMUN’s General Assemblies, overseen by Undersecretary-General Rachel Merriman-Goldring ‘17, covered a range of topics from the novice-level WHO and DISEC to the United Nations Environment Programme 2040 and the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats.
Specialized Agencies, the purview of Undersecretary-General Dominick Margiotta, saw a fantastic caliber of delegates in attendance. Delegates participated in the traditional UNSC as well as the 1974 North Vietnamese Leadership committee and the Executive Board of the Space Exploration Technologies Corporation. The Specialized Agency division also featured a 2000 United States Presidential Election Joint Crisis Committee, with delegates facing off as the senior staffs of the Bush and Gore campaigns.
The Ad-Hoc Committee of the Secretary General
The flagship committee of WMHSMUN, the Secretary-General’s Committee on Negotiation, entered its fourth year. This year’s ad hoc committee, led by Secretary-General Emerita Serena Saffarini ’15, focused on the Catalan independence movement. Delegates were treated to a midnight crisis session until 2:00AM on Saturday.
WMHSMUN’s signature out-of-committee experience was updated by Conference Development Director Ani Sinani. This year introduced WMHSFest, a cabaret-style showcase of William & Mary’s student performance groups, to the current offerings of the Student Leadership Summit, Ghost Tours, and Delegate Dance. WMHSnacks offered delegates light snacks on Friday evening before committee. The pre-conference experience was also improved with the rollout of a completely rebuilt website that increases internal efficiency while providing a sleeker portal for sponsors and delegates.
The most prestigious award conferred by the William & Mary Model United Nations each year is the Michael Charles Coon Award for Representation and Diplomacy. Named after the Secretary-General of WMHSMUN IX, the Coon Award is awarded to the school which most embodies the ideals of diplomacy, friendship, and commitment to progress in Model United Nations: these are the values of William & Mary. This year, the Coon Award for Representation and Diplomacy was awarded to American Heritage School of Plantation, Florida.
The Secretary-General’s Award for Best Delegation: Langley High School
The Secretary-General’s Award for Outstanding Delegation: New Canaan High School
The Undersecretary-General’s Award for Best Delegation: Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
The Undersecretary-General’s Award for Outstanding Delegation: James Madison High School
The Erica Chiusano Award for Devotion to International Service: Georgetown Preparatory School
Notable Performances were also given by the School Without Walls, St. Ignatius College Prep, George C. Marshall High School, and Chantilly High School.
WMHSMUN XXVIII Secretariat:
Clayton T. Southerly, Secretary-General
Brendan McNamara, Director-General
Melanie Gilbert, Registration Director
Rachel Merriman-Goldring, Undersecretary-General for General Assemblies
Dominick Margiotta, Undersecretary-General for Specialized Agencies
Sean Reilly, Media Director
Hannah Kohn, Chief of Staff
Ani Sinani, Conference Development Director
Andrew Aucter, Director of Technology
Greg Wicks, Director of Technology
Samuel Houmoui, Assistant Conference Development Director