St. Mary’s Model United Nations

(From Left To Right): Yuuki Onda, Surya Sriram, Shin Ikeda, Felipe Chertouh, Codey Silong, Ji Seong Reuw, Abishek Dash, Ryo Matsuki, Vikas Reddy, Timothy Chon.

Article by: Felipe Chertouth

Photo By: Mr. Doug Sirkka

On March 15, 2018 the Model United Nations club (MUN) departed to Taipei to attend the prestigious Yale Model United Nations Conference V. MUN is a form of debate in which students operate as delegates and represent nations in order to discuss serious geo-political issues.

This year the club’s lineup was well-balanced: There was avid participation from both rookie, and veteran delegates. At Yale MUN V, all delegates were separated into committees based on their levels of experience, proficiency with English, and debating prowess. Despite all of the rookie SMIS delegates that took part this year, our representatives were still sorted into the conference’s intermediate and advanced committees. This honor resulted from our club’s excellent improvement since its inception four years ago. Yuuki Onda, one of the club’s student-founders said: “MUN has grown over the past four years, and I hope it will continue to do so, while raising awareness of global issues for students.”

This year, one of St. Mary’s most experienced members was ironically a freshman, Felipe Chertouh, who attended Yale MUN, not as a delegate, but as an Assistant Director. Over a period of four months (prior to the conference), both he and his co-chairs had consistent communication with the Yale students who hosted the event. Given this large degree of preparation, the directing officers pulled through, guided their committees to a high quality of debate and had “enlightening experiences.” In addition, one of the SMIS rookie delegates, Shin Ikeda performed outstandingly at Yale MUN while representing his home nation of Japan and was awarded “Honorable Mention.” Similarly, when asked about the Yale conference, Surya Sriram, one of the clubs veterans said:

The Taiwan trip was the defining moment of the MUN season. It gave our departing seniors one last chance to exercise their MUN skills, whilst simultaneously shedding light on the new talent that will eventually lead the club to unprecedented success.

Now that the MUN season has come to its close, Mrs. Fradale, the club’s adviser has already begun looking at plausible future trips ideas. At the moment, the club plans to either attend a Yale conference in South Korea or, perhaps, the very prestigious The Hague Model United Nations (THIMUN) conference in Singapore. Regardless where our MUN group ends up to travelling to next year, its growing talent is sure bring St. Mary’s unprecedented success.

At the very beginning the MUN program at St. Mary’s was like any other club, relatively insignificant within the St. Mary’s community. However, over time the integration of trips and inter-school scrimmages is leading the club to parity within the St. Mary’s fine arts curriculum activities.

While St. Mary’s MUN club attended the Yale conference in Taipei, Nikita Romanov (pictured above) opted for a different route, and chose to participate as an Assistant Director at Harvard’s Beijing MUN conference. It was Nikita’s first time running a committee, and he did very well. When asked about his experience, he said:     “… Being a part of this discussion and this conference exposed me to many different perspectives and ideas on this very real and pressing issue [water scarcity].” Taking his responsibility seriously, Nikita did all he could to ensure the success of his committee. He went on to say: “MUN in general is a very interesting and very fun activity that I would recommend to everyone who is interested in discussing real issues that threaten us in today’s day and age.”