The American Heritage Model United Nations (Model UN) team hosted the second annual American Heritage Plantation Model United Nations (AHPMUN) tournament Sat. Sept. 29 and Sun. Sept. 30.
The conference, which lasted over 20 hours across two days, consisted of eight crisis and general assembly committees, five committee sessions for each, Project Alive donation incentives and a speech from guest speaker Judge Michael Usan.
AHPMUN began early Saturday morning, when delegates and coaches arrived at 8 a.m. to register and confirm their attendance. Prior to the first committee session, Judge Michael Usan delivered an opening ceremony speech. Junior high English teacher Mrs. Jennifer Estevez and her sons Omar and Sebastian also spoke on behalf of Project Alive, as all proceeds from AHPMUN would be donated to the charity.
After opening ceremonies, each delegate headed to their assigned committee rooms. Each committee debated a different topic and worked to pass a resolution or solve a situation.
Each committee session lasted several hours and delegates worked to earn their spot on stage at the final awards ceremony that would take place Sunday afternoon.
Throughout the weekend-long tournament, experienced Heritage Model UN students and officers ran back and forth, passing crisis notes and running committee sessions.
“As a chair, you’re looking at what you normally do from an outside perspective and it’s not only fun, it also makes you a lot better [at MUN],” said Junior Aamir Lacewala, who was an assistant chair for the Roosevelt’s Cabinet crisis committee and member of the Heritage Model UN junior executive board.
The fifth and final committee session, known as “FUNMUN” consisted of Project Alive donation incentives. At the first committee session, delegates of each committee brainstormed situations for their chairs to endure should they raise a certain amount of money.
Junior Jacob Kasner, assistant chair of UN Population Fund, a General assembly committee, switched clothes with his co-assistant chair senior Shirley Wong. Their committee raise $225 for Project Alive, and, as a result, Kasner switched out his shirt, slacks and tie for Wong’s blouse, skirt and makeup. Wong did the same.
“I felt partially humiliated, but I knew that I did it for a good cause,” Kasner said.
Other popular incentives included dancing on behalf of the chairs, shaving cream pies to the face and karaoke.
At the time of the final awards ceremony, each committee chair board presented their chosen awards to the delegates they had grown to know over the past two days. In order to avoid bias, Heritage participants of the conference were limited to one award per committee, specifically as a committee speaker. The chosen Heritage-student-comprised delegation won the right to speak in front of the entire AHPMUN conference and give a brief summary of what their committee accomplished regarding their hypothetical situation.
Sophomores Justin Folks and Rohail Mistry earned the committee speaker award for their committee, Special Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL), after representing the People’s Republic of China and working to pass a resolution to benefit the socio economic wellbeing of non-self governing territories.
“It was overwhelming at first, but after a couple hours, we got the hang of how Model UN worked,” sophomore Justin Folks said. “I was surprised [about winning committee speaker] since there were so many hard workers in our committee.”
The other traditional awards (best, outstanding, honorable and verbal delegate) were reserved for delegates from other schools.
By the end of the conference, students had raised over $2,000 for Project Alive. This was not only from raw donations, but from $1 candy grams that were sent between committees.
For Heritage delegates, whether new to MUN or already passionate from their previous experience, AHPMUN exposed students to new aspects of Model UN.