* This guest article was written by Alyssa Harrison who served as the Secretary General for this conference.
The William & Mary High School Model United Nations conference carried its tradition of excellence, professionalism, and diplomacy through its most recent chapter, WMHSMUN 30. This year, over 1,300 delegates heard from keynote speaker, Professor Michael Butler, a former Foreign Service Officer and professor at William & Mary, and were charged by Secretary-General Alyssa Harrison ‘17, to see the conference as an invitation to consider how an individual person can have an impact on the wider world around them.
Delegates came from all over the country to Williamsburg, Virginia, for our committees covering a broad range of times and regions. WMHSMUN presented 10 General Assemblies, 8 Specialized Agencies, and 9 Crisis Committees. Undersecretary-General for General Assemblies, Henry Crossman ‘19, oversaw traditional GA’s for Novices as the World Health Organization and the World Conference on Women, while also examining the traditional UN bodies of DISEC and UNEA. Specialized Agencies, led by Undersecretary-General for Specialized Agencies Emily Kinney ‘19, were hybrid organizations that reflected out-of-the-box topics seen on the collegiate Model UN circuit, such as the Trade Federation and The Bonn Conference. Both USGs created our dynamic crisis committees, which included the Obama Cabinet: November 2016-January 2017, the Fall of the DPRK, and many other issues that brought new and innovative solutions from our delegates.
The flagship committee, Secretary-General’s Committee on Negotiation, under the direction of Secretary-General Emeritus Brendan McNamara ‘15, challenged delegates to address the implications of environmental racism created by national disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. Delegates in this committee were confronted by a midnight crisis session Friday night, organized by Director-General Jack Nicol ‘18.
The WMHSMUN social events, organized by Claire Kartoz ‘19, included a our renowned Leadership Summit, where W&M alumna Kathryn Floyd discussed how our delegates can emerge as strong leaders in an increasingly globalized world. Conference preparations were presented to delegations on WMHSMUN’s website and conference mobile app, created by Greg Wicks ‘17, with design by Manjari Kumarappan ’18 and Alex Neumann ‘20, and delegation finances and communication through Jason Nykorczuk ‘18.
WMHSMUN continued its practice of fundraising for an international charity by supporting the International Justice Mission, an international nonprofit that advocates for human rights, Our service branch, IRCares, sold baked goods and WMHSMUN merchandise in order to raise funds for IJM throughout the conference weekend. The committees that raised the most funds for IJM were given donuts in their Sunday committee as a reward for their devotion to brownies and an understanding of the key issues IJM focuses on.
WMHSMUN also presents the Erica Chiusano Award for Devotion to International Service, to the delegation that contributed the most to our partnered charity that we discuss and educate delegates on throughout the weekend. WMHSMUN 30’s Chiusano Award went to Norfolk Collegiate School.
WMHSMUN’s highest award, the Michael Charles Coon Award for Representation and Diplomacy, is presented to our delegation that most encompasses Mr. Coon, Secretary-General of WMHSMUN IX’s commitment to progress, diplomacy, and engagement to Model United Nations. We see these aspects in delegates that welcome cooperation and inclusion within the room, that realize that Model UN, at the end of the day, is an educational experience, and endeavor bring that spirit to all delegates they interact with. This year’s Coon Award went to Richland Northeast High School.
Other delegation awards went to:
Secretary-General’s Best Large Delegation – Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Secretary-General’s Outstanding Large Delegation – Horace Mann School
Undersecretary-General’s Best Small Delegation – Bishop Ireton High School
Undersecretary-General’s Outstanding Small Delegation – Hampton Roads Academy
WMHSMUN is the largest and oldest conference at William & Mary. Under the direction of Maddie Burton ‘17, our largest staff to date made William & Mary an inclusive and educational environment for our delegates to learn more about the wider world around them. WMHSMUN 30 was proud to take greater strides in ensuring the diversity of experiences in Model UN, in the geographic variety of committees provided and offering financial aid for delegations for the first time, an endeavor the William & Mary International Relations Club hopes to expand to our middle school conference, WMIDMUN, and our collegiate conference, &MUN.
On behalf of the entire Secretariat, thank you to everyone who made this conference possible: all of the sponsors, speakers, staff members, administrators, and most of all, the delegates who brought our committees to life. We had a wonderful three days with you all, and look forward to seeing you next year at WMHSMUN XXXI!
WMHSMUN 30 Secretariat:
Alyssa Harrison, Secretary-General, Jack Nicol, Director-General, Jason Nykorczuk, Registration Director, Henry Crossman, Undersecretary-General for General Assemblies, Emily Kinney, Undersecretary-General for Specialized Agencies, Maddie Burton, Chief of Staff, Manjari Kumarappan, Media Director, Alex Neumann, Assistant Media Director, Greg Wicks, Director of Technology, and Claire Kartoz, Conference Development Director