Earlier this month, 18 members of the Lawrenceville Model United Nations (MUN) team debated solutions to various global issues at an online conference called Dartmouth Model United Nations (DartMUN
). The delegates who attended included co-presidents Avigna Ranachandran’21 and Jack Hallinan ’21 along with Maksym Bondarenko ’22, Autri Basu ’23, Conan Chen ’24, Chris Crane ’21, Emily Hammond ’23, William Hu ’24, Emma Kim ’23, Sameer Menghani ’24, George McCain ’23, Christopher Pandapas ’21, Summer Qureshi ’22, Aiden Rourke ’23, Sophia Springer ’22, Remko Wang Kuijs ’24, and Adeline Zhou ’23.
At the conference, two Lawrenceville delegates were recognized: Pandapas earned an Honorable Mention award and Kim won the Best Delegate award.
To prepare for DartMUN, the team spent weeks writing position papers, practicing opening speeches, and according to Hallinan, “understanding [the topics] on the deepest level possible.”
With regard to his success at MUN, Pandapas said, “I feel I’ve gotten better with every conference I’ve done. However, there’s an element of luck to every conference as well, and things definitely aligned well for me at DartMUN along with how well I did of my own skill.”
Kim explained that the challenge she faced at DartMUN was the Current Crisis Committee. According to Kim, “In Crisis, they do live updates, and you have to respond to what they say in the updates with a directive or a call to action. This is a lot different from other conferences because you really do not know what you’re going into.”
Kim also credited much of her success to her fellow Lawrentian delegates McCain and Bondarenko, who were put on the same committee as her. When asked about her favorite parts of the conference Kim stated, “I would definitely say the teamwork and the friendship that went into it… That was my first time collaborating with other people and it was really nice! Also, just the fact that Crisis is always going on! Something is always happening, and it keeps your adrenaline pumping!”
Pandapas offered advice to future MUN delegates, saying, “MUN is largely about just putting yourself out there as much and as often as possible, speaking whenever you can, and being as assertive as possible when it comes to building a bloc and writing a resolution… [The] biggest thing you’ll hear from most people, myself included, is that you just have to go for it as much as possible! The sooner you start doing the hardest or most awkward parts of MUN, the faster you’ll get better and more comfortable with them.”
Overall, the Lawrenceville team had a strong showing at the conference. Despite being on Zoom, delegates felt the thrill of public speaking and debating. The intense preparation, research, and writing all led to a rewarding conference. For many, the Dartmouth conference was the first step into Model UN at Lawrenceville, and helped delegates gain valuable experience. Menghani added that “as a first-timer I loved the thrill of speaking on the fly! MUN taught me to just put myself out there and take risks.”
Ramachandran made sure to include that “[while] the conference itself was online, we were able to connect in person… I think that’s the fun of it! That’s the part of it that you have to embrace. At the end of the day it’s not about the awards, it’s about doing your best and just enjoying the process.”
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