Model UN excels in this year's Stanford Conference

Burlingame’s Model United Nations club participated in this year’s Stanford Model UN Conference on the weekend of Nov. 10 to Nov. 12, which draws students from all over the country. Burlingame had six participants in the conference: three seniors, one junior, and two sophomores, all participating in different types of committees.

Throughout the conference, students were given a country or person to represent and a committee they took part in. The committees were separated into two categories; the first one being Crisis Committees and the second being General Assembly and Specialized Bodies.

Crisis Committees focused more on historical events such as the Trojan War and Frederick the Great's Court at Sanssouci. In these committees, the students reenacted wars and work together on topics, so these committees tend to be more historical when compared to General Assemblies.

“It’s like you are living in that time period,” senior Vivian Yuen said.

Yuen participated in the Joint Crisis Committee, a part of the Chinese Communist Party in 1945. They are given crises by Stanford students in a crisis “backroom,” where they respond to requests for committee resources. Delegates are told to debate on how they should proceed. The student taking part in Crisis Committees are given brief information in the beginning of their event and prepare based on this.

During General Assemblies and Specialized Bodies committees, students discussed modern topics such as race relations in the Black Lives Matter committee and genomics in the World Health Organization. These committees took place in a more formal setting compared to the Crisis Committees. They were told to prepare by writing a position paper on the issue at hand and debated during the conference based on this paper. This committee required more preparation compared to those regarding crises.

Every student had their preference on which committee they prefer to participate in based on their own interests. Each committee session took place for about three hours at a time with five throughout the entire weekend.

A ceremony took place during the opening and closing of the conference and awards were given during the top delegates in their conferences and based on public speaking and research abilities. Senior Anton Bobrov won "Best Delegate" while portraying William Pierce, a Georgia representative, in 1787 at the United States Constitutional Convention committee. As a committee, they were to rewrite the Constitution after the Articles of the Confederation.

“Our first questions was whether or not we wanted to keep the Articles of Confederation,” Anton Bobrov said.

Following Model UN tradition, Bobrov received his committee chair’s gavel to commemorate his high achievement in the conference.

The Model UN club had previously organized and participated in the Mills High School conference, West MUNC, as preparation for this conference and other upcoming ones.

Model UN is a way for the students to participate in politics and debate in a setting that differs from that of a classroom. During their meetings, the club members will enthusiastically discuss current events and issues going on throughout the world. By participating in these conferences, students bond with other students, who have the same passions as they do, whether it be history, current politics, environmental science, and more.

“I am still friends with people I met at a conference even though I only knew them for two or three days,” Yuen said, talking about the bonding she experienced as part of the organization.

Model UN is a way for students to have an interactive view of history and how politics work in the real world. The Model UN club meets on Tuesdays at lunch in Mr. Chin’s room.

Posted on November 26, 2017 .