Hard Work Pays Off For Model UN Team

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Model UN Team waves to the camera feeling confident at their personal responsibility for success

Undeterred by the pandemic, Austin High Model UN team hosts a successful online conference to start their year.

This is senior Elise de la Fuente’s third year as a delegate on the Austin High Model UN team where she serves as the Under Secretary of Chair Development. De la Fuente worked alongside a handful of students to organize this year’s AUSMUN, an annual conference hosted by Austin High. The turnout for the conference during its two- year run has made it one of the Model UN team’s greatest accomplishments. AUSMUN is usually located at AHS and draws teams and delegates from across the region, but with the pandemic forcing everything online, the Austin High team had to quickly make adjustments to allow this year’s conference to go on. As most students and teachers would agree, the virtual environment we’ve come to know over the past few months does not allow for the interaction we are used to. So how could a collaborative experience like AUSMUN be both successful and fun in this setting? That was one of the many challenges that de la Fuente’s group faced as they worked tirelessly throughout the summer leading up to the September 26th event. One of the group’s main goals in their planning of this year’s conference was to ensure that they wouldn’t sacrifice what made AUSMUN appealing to both Austin High Model UN students and others in the area.
“Typically the delegates from AHSwould travel to a school that is hosting a conference, and attend the opening ceremony where the school that’s hosting says a few words,” said de la Fuente. This year AUSMUN delegates were grouped into separate Zoom meetings where each student represented a country in a moderated caucus that focused on a specific international issue. Resolutions were agreed upon by each committee after their caucuses as they have in years past.
“The sponsors, Mr. Miller and Ms. Cooney, really just stepped back and let the board just run it all…They were kind of like our cheerleaders,” added de la Fuente.
“We had prepared so much to prevent tech issues…but inevitably there were some,” she noted. “We were able to handle all of the little hiccups very smoothly and it just went well.” All of the hard work over the summer break had paid off.