MUN Makes History

Model UN team brings wins Best Large Delegation Award for the first time.

Katie Harwood, Staff Writer

A group of 36 Model United Nations students traveled to San Antonio on Jan. 8-10, with sponsors Ralph Miller and Lauren Cooney. While there, they attended the largest student-run Model United Nations conference in North America, MUNSA, with over 1,000 delegates coming from as far as Mexico and Japan. High School students from International Schools of Americas (ISA) in San Antonio spent months preparing and planning for the conference that they would hold at Trinity University.

“I always prepare for a conference by studying resolutions previously passed by the united nations regarding the topic, ” junior Honore Nelson said.
“MUNSA is a very professional conference but all the people there are really great and the topics are usually interesting, so it was very fun and educational,” Nelson said.

Model United Nations (MUN) is a class offered for 10th-12th graders. Students in MUN participate in debate-style simulations representing other countries and figures on topics like climate change and can even “step back in time” with simulations about events like the Cuban Missile Crisis. Multiple MUN students hold a weekly meeting for MUN Club in room 167 on Mondays at lunch, to talk about world issues, and their award-winning strategies and hold mini simulations.

“I’ve always been interested in global topics so Model UN has just always been something I was interested in,” junior Katherine Jones said.

After being given delegations like the United Kingdom and China in early December and seeing the large presence and effect of every student in their rooms, Miller created mandatory weekly FIT sessions for each student of an assigned delegation to come and ask questions, get help on their papers, and
be informed about the country that they were given.

“I was China in a room that discussed education and healthcare for children in poverty,” Jones said.

Throughout the 9th and 10th grade, students actively participated in simulations on topics such as counterfeit medication and biological warfare. MUN students brought home a total of nine awards: eight personal and one school award.

“Winning the award was surreal, I thought I did well in the room,”. Nelson said. “But I definitely didn’t expect any award, so I was quite grateful when they called the United Kingdom to the stage to receive Honorable Ddelegate.” Nelson said.

MUN students have been going to MUNSA for the past 6 years from Austin High. This year for the first time in Austin High MUN history, the team brought home the Best Large Delegation Award. Each student is graded on a point system, and win awards based on their ability to publicly speak, proceed and be diplomatic. But the points aren’t the only determining factor. Each delegate/student on a team contributes to the chance of winning a school award.

“My room committee was UNICEF and we discussed Health care and Education, I represented the United Kingdom,” Nelson said.

The win of Best Large Delegation for the MUN team was not only a historic win but also a defeat of other schools that win this award almost every year like, Westlake, LASA, Lake Travis and many other schools among the 45 attending.

“My favorite part of MUNSA was probably the delegate dance because it is always very fun and I love being able to spend time with the people I meet at conferences outside of debate,” Jones said.