Words: Maggie Ju
36 delegates from Centennial’s Model United Nations club attended the Johns Hopkins Model UN Conference (JHUMUNC) in the Hilton Baltimore from February 8 to 11. Nearly 1,800 delegates, a record high, were present. Organized and staffed by Johns Hopkins’ students, the conference’s six sessions were an opportunity for high school students to simulate international relations while solving issues.
The Centennial delegates, chosen for club participation, had been preparing since winter break to understand their topics. Their hard work came to fruition as they worked in committees, some with as many as 100 people, to write resolutions. In addition to the countless students from Maryland, delegates hailed from as far away as Minnesota and Wisconsin. According to the organizers’ remarks, there were even international students attending the conference.
JHUMUNC, with its formally dressed delegates and professional air, appeared completely serious and rigid, but the laughter and stories shared outside the committee rooms proved otherwise. Highlights included a saxophone solo in the Legal Committee, a Darwinism-based plan in the Special Conference on the Environment and Natural Disasters, and the recurring theme of inappropriate acronyms for resolutions.
Sophomore Sydney Kelley, Centennial MUN’s spring coordinator, said, “I felt that the hardest task as spring coordinator was trying to organize everything. It required a lot of multitasking and communication, which seemed overwhelming at times.”
Each delegate submitted a form with roommate, country, and committee preferences, which meant tough decisions on Kelley’s part to ensure all students got something they wanted.
“It was really motivating to hear that people were enjoying their committee sessions, rooms, and the various JHUMUNC events,” Kelley said.
In the hours between committee sessions, delegates had the opportunity to eat at various Baltimore restaurants, watch musical performances by Johns Hopkins students at a social event, and attend the Delegate Dance.
JHUMUNC was Centennial freshman Lauren Stipe’s first collegiate conference. She exclaimed, “I met a lot of great new people, and my committee even had a moderated caucus for compliments at the end!”
During the closing ceremony, junior Robert Gao and senior Alex Na received the Honorable Mention Delegate award in their respective committees.
Na explained that his initiatives in the United Nations Security Council Committee, including the simulated assassination of Kim Jong Un and support of foreign aid programs, likely factored into his candidacy for the award. Despite his strong points, his confidence wavered when it came to awards.
“Since it was one of my first crisis committees, I never fully grasped the concept of sending directives,” he said. “Because of this, I started to doubt my chances of winning so it was a sweet moment hearing my name.”
Delegates left the conference with smiles, pausing to take last-minute pictures with friends and exchanging contact information.
“I wish I could do it again next weekend,” Stipe said.
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