Article by: Anna Brodzik, J-1 correspondant
Model United Nations is a cooperative effort of intelligent youth to solve modern day global problems through debate, just as the real United Nations does. This club was founded by a Godwin junior Sneha Reddy.
The president is junior Pranay Nuvvala. Both individuals came from Moody Middle School, and have participated in conferences whilst in middle school, enabling them with the experience needed to lead such a complex club.
The most recent conference that Godwin has attended was the Old Dominion University Model United Nations Conference (ODUMUNC). This event occurred on Feb. 20-23 at the Sheraton Norfolk Hotel.
The students gathered together on a Thursday afternoon in English teacher Louanne Lyon’s classroom to make finalizing touches to their position papers before they began their journey that everyone had prepared for.
Junior and club treasurer Mouni Talari said, “Organizing this trip was by far more challenging than the actual participation in the conference.” Due to the full involvement of 20 people, there were several obstacles that needed to be resolved in order for the trip to unfold as planned.
According to students the club was intended to be student run. The sponsors of Model UN are Lyons and English teacher Rebecca Struble. It is difficult for the students to manage Model UN work on top of regular school work. However, the students decide to take this responsibility upon themselves, as well as any potential consequences for unfinished homework.
The Model UN delegation to ODUMUNC left Richmond at around 6 pm on Thursday Feb. 20, and returned on Sunday Feb. 23.
In a Model UN Conference there are several different categories of committees ranging from easy to more difficult. Usually, the general assembly and specialized committees are regarded as more preparatory to the crisis committees. Each club member is assigned to a committee as well as a country.
Each committee has at least two topics for discussion, which are typically modern day hot topics. The crux of Model UN is to stay in character, always maintaining your country’s political viewpoint on the issues being debated.
In the case of ODUMUNC, the Godwin club members specifically trained themselves in teamwork and cooperation in order to emulate a real United Nations atmosphere more closely. The specific delegates are required to work together in order to draft resolutions that entail specific solutions to the topics.
The ODU conference organizers defined the theme as “unity”, and the Godwin team embodied this value through their impressive results as a team. Juniors Reddy and Paul Stiles won the Outstanding Delegate Honor.
Lyons described the trip as “exhilarating and exhausting.” “The students were engaged in meetings all day and into the evening until nine pm. Then they come back and prepare position papers at night. We were one of the smallest delegations, but we reaped in number of awards,” said Lyons.
Sophomores Ethan Winkler and Gigi Justis received Honorable Mention awards. Juniors Pranay Nuvvala and Rohan Matthew as well as sophomore Lynette Sequeira, and freshman Max Holland were recognized with verbal commendations.
In the end everything worked out favorably. The team thoroughly enjoyed lodging at the hotel. Talari said, “It was pretty intense. There were over 1,000 people there and it was really official.” Despite the organizational difficulties in participating in the conference, there were good reviews for the ODU staff. On the trip home, a Model UN club member was overheard saying, “It was like the real United Nations,” a testament to the conference’s success.
With a warm glow, the team reflected upon its busy weekend with contentment and eager hearts awaiting yet another conference.