In conversation with Model UN co-president Alex Kelly


Elise Spenner

Model UN club members discuss Bear MUN in a meeting on Oct. 26.

Arda Inegol, Staff Reporter

Model UN at Burlingame is currently led by co-presidents Alex Kelly and Seneca Simpson. The club, made up of 25 members from all grades, participates in regional conferences. In this Q&A, Kelly provides insight into the club’s goals and talks about the conferences they plan on attending this year.


What is Model UN?


Model UN is basically a simulation of the real world UN; you become a country, and then go to a college or high school conference with a whole bunch of other kids from different high schools. And you simulate as if there was a committee about climate change and what your country and other countries would want to do about climate change in the UN. It’s really fun to go and kind of try and solve these real world issues in this format.


What types of conferences does the club participate in?


We participate in high school and college conferences; the big college conferences that we usually go to every year are Stanford [University], [University of California] Berkeley and Davis. Stanford didn’t happen this year because of Covid regulations in San Jose. But we really, really enjoyed doing Berkeley, and then we do some other smaller high school conferences, like Nueva — it has a really cool one about theoretical Mars colonization — and that’s really fun. And we do other ones if they’re available to us.


What was the last conference the club participated in? How did it go?


The last conference that we participated in this year was Bear MUN, which was organized by a college student group at Berkeley. We got some new people to go to that, and kind of learn the ropes. We didn’t get our whole delegation to go, but the people who did get to go learned more about MUN and dipped their feet in a little bit.


Which conference does the club plan on participating in next? What are your thoughts on this conference?


There are a couple of smaller conferences that we may have a couple of people going to, but the big one that we’re really planning on going next is Berkeley — March 4-6. I think we’re going to have a lot of people going to that, and that’ll be super exciting. It’s supposed to be in-person right now, and we haven’t had an in-person conference in quite some time. It’d be really exciting to go and see people in-person again and go up to Berkeley and take part in a good community-building experience in MUN all together. I’m really excited.


What is the last conference you plan on attending this school year?


I think there’ll probably be some more. There will be some smaller ones before that and some like smaller ones after that, but that’s kind of the big one that we’re aiming for right now.


What are your goals for the future of the club?


I think next year, we’d love to plan our own conferences. But that’s really hard in the future, and that would take a lot of planning whether we want to do that or not. There’s nothing concrete yet. We might even do something this year, but I don’t really have a very hard answer on that right now. Right now, we want to grow the club, and we want to make it more accessible for beginners — make it so people can kind of understand more about the UN and feel like they can come here and have a really fun time with this community.