MUN Club Works Harder than Ever Before Regardless of Online Setbacks

Model United Nations club receives new members and adapts to distance learning despite not being able to participate in in-person conferences and debates

The+club+prepares+for+a+conference+by+doing+a+mock+conference.+The+members+were+prepared+and+competitive+despite+being+told+by+the+leaders+that+it+was+only+a+practice+conference.+

Photo taken from MUN instagram

The club prepares for a conference by doing a mock conference. The members were prepared and competitive despite being told by the leaders that it was only a practice conference.

Aedia Hamilton, Staff Reporter

Despite the struggles of online learning, the Model United Nations club has quadrupled in size since last year. 

The main cause of this drastic increase in numbers was a change in leadership and passionate new members. 

The majority of the old leadership were seniors so they couldn’t ensure that the club would be successful or fun for the members; they were too wrapped up in the busyness of senior year to focus on promoting and investing in the club. 

The current leaders saw the change that needed to happen and initiated it themselves. 

We staged sort of a coup d’etat against the old leadership and booted them out of office; then we instated ourselves as the new office with the help of our advisor,” junior and MUN co-president, Kaia Savage, said. “We tried to revamp the club and make it go a little bit better.”

After this year, the club will have been established for five years but hasn’t expanded dramatically until this year.

The club meets on zoom at 2 on Mondays and Fridays. The leaders and members pose for a photo a few days after the success of their first conference. (Photo Courtesy of Nancie Huang-Ball)

 

“Not only have we adapted to COVID but we’ve really grown tremendously under circumstances that seem very difficult,” senior and MUN co-president, Nicholas Tappin, said. 

The leadership helped implement this change by heavily promoting the club across their social media platforms. The word spread about the club and sparked the interest of more than 20 new members. 

In a normal pre-COVID-19 world, the MUN members would participate in huge conferences and debate with students from other schools. Because of the current times, they have adapted to online conferences in a way that they can still experience what MUN is about. 

“We recently had…a mock conference just within Sage Creek and honestly the essence of the club hasn’t changed; you still get the same sort of rush of adrenaline trying to find a solution to the problem presented and it all just feels the same,” junior and MUN treasurer, Aman Nemani, said. 

With conferences continuing and members becoming more engaged in zoom meetings, the club has been able to keep members inspired and competitive. 

According to Ryan Villanueva, this is what Model United Nations is about. He is a co-founder of Best Delegate which is an education company set out to help MUN grow and improve. (Graphic by Aedia Hamilton)

“The hardest part of switching to online was connecting with the new members,” Savage said. “It’s taking longer than it would’ve in person, which makes it difficult, but I can see gradually the new members are getting integrated into the club and we’re all getting to know them.”

Like any online club or class, MUN had a bit of a rocky start with cameras off and mics muted for a majority of the meetings. This has changed in just a few weeks with the club members getting closer and the leadership welcoming in the new kids well. 

 “At first I would say I was reluctant to even speak but now I know more of the members and I’m more likely to speak, or share my speech so I can get feedback,” freshman Rishi Pathak said. 

On Nov. 7, the club participated in two conferences: U.C. Berkeley’s BearMUN and Social Distancing MUN

They came away with a first-time experience of an online conference and 4 awards; half of which were awarded to new members.  

“SDMUN was really good… I also had a lot of fun,” sophomore Spoorti Chetty said. “I was able to meet other people from different countries and have a really good debate with all of them.”

Online learning provided a unique conference experience and allowed the MUN club members to meet and debate with people from all over the world. 

The members are passionate about debate and negotiating with other delegates to reach the best possible solution for the country they represent in conferences; they are well prepared and supported by the responsible new leadership team. 

MUN club has continued to thrive due to amazing leadership and incredibly driven members, despite the challenges distance learning poses.