The SIS Model United Nations (MUN) club started off the second semester with an international trip to The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN) conference from Jan. 28 to Feb. 4. Students from SIS attended the event either as delegates or appointed chairs in their respective committees.
“I expected THIMUN to be really uptight and expected everyone to be really good at MUN,” said Emma Lee (9), MUN member. “Also, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get closer with the people there since they were from totally different places. However, I realized that the people were really friendly and really laid back, even compared to SEOMUN. Since the conference didn’t have any competition over best delegate or any prizes, I think it was more about forming relationships and learning about each other rather than strictly going up and making good speeches.”
Because the event was held almost right after students came back to school, members participating in THIMUN were required to prepare during winter break. When the second semester began, the delegates and chairs assembled in biweekly meetings to debate their resolutions and exchange feedback. According to Jonathan Ames, MUN adviser, the relative lack of preparation did not impact the team all that much because most of them who went to THIMUN were experienced debaters, but it was difficult for them to get their voices heard due to the massive size of the conference. However, the big size of the conference also left a positive impact in promoting a more diverse interaction between students.
“I think one of the best things is that I really see the relationships blossom not only believe not only between our younger and older MUNers but also between our school and other schools,” Mr. Ames said. “To see people be excited to talk about both the highlights and downfalls from their committees that day; to see that level of excitement is worthwhile as an adviser because it shows that the passion is there and the hard work does pay off.”
Even though the location and date of the 2017 THIMUN was similar and even the same as last year’s, the trip was distinct from the previous. Under this year’s new theme — “Borders in a Globalized World,” committees debated on relevant issues such as cultural diversity, countries building walls, and protection of maritime routes. According to Katie Lee (10), MUN member, the conference this year saw many changes such as the elimination of General Assembly plenary sessions, which used to drag on the conference and lowered efficiency regarding thorough debate.
“I found myself coming back to THIMUN again this year because I love how long the conference is, which allows me to debate on more issues on a deeper level and also tour the city for a longer time,” Katie said. “I probably will come back to THIMUN next year as well, and I’m pretty sure I won’t regret it.”