by Julia Blank
On January 30th, 36 students embarked on a 3-hour bus ride headed towards Boston, ready to participate in four days of international affairs and debate at HMUN 2020. HMUN is Harvard University’s annual Model UN conference that gives high schoolers a chance to tackle some of the world’s greatest international problems in a multinational competition.
Students spend their days debating both contemporary and historical issues ranging from terrorism in the internet age to the 1980s debt crisis in Latin America. Additionally, students take on roles as characters from some of the world’s most important fields, be it CEO of Google debating in a Global Technology Summit or Vladamir Lenin scheming about European politics.
GHS students were very successful at taking challenges head-on and being leaders in their respective committees. Seventeen Greenwich High School students were recognized at HMUN for their leadership and communication abilities. This set a new record for the GHS Model UN club’s awards at a conference that is considered among the most competitive in the nation.
Notably, two Best Delegation awards (awards that are given out to the first-place team in each committee) were awarded to GHS students. Senior Melissa Woo received a BestDelegation award for her participation in the Global Technology Summit as Sundar Pichai, CEO Of Google. Additionally, sophomore Aarya Dhru and freshman Ambika Grover won a Best Delegation award for their participation as Canada on the UN Committee for Science, Technology, and Development.
In addition to the competition aspect, students were given the ability to see Boston and meet students from all across the world. HMUN included students from diverse nations around the globe. Students got to meet and exchange experiences with students from nearly 50 different countries, from Venezuela to Great Britain to the Philippines. When recounting her experience, freshman Ambika Grover highlighted that, ”HMUN provided an incredible opportunity to work with unique-minded people from all over the world. It was rewarding to hear the different perspectives on our … topic, and it truly made it such a great experience. ”
Perhaps the most valuable aspect of the conference was the ability to forge bonds across the whole team. During HMUN, the GHS Model UN team plans numerous team events to connect with each other and make the experience more worthwhile. From a team brunch at a local Boston cafe on Friday morning to a team dinner and game night on Saturday, the club developed memories and friendships outside of just the committee rooms. When asked for comment, numerous members touched upon the friendships they made with people across the whole team.
Club Co-President Akshay Joglekar remarked, “To see the club that was made up of eight members five years ago turn into a team of over a hundred dedicated and successful delegates was wonderfully cathartic. We often talk about how MUN has become a family for all of us, and that isn’t just because of the strong friendships across grades, the team dinners, and the mutual passion for global affairs. The GHS MUN team is a family also because we are able to revel in each other’s victories…. Through every individual member’s hard work, and especially with the help of Mr. Tiedemann, who molded the club into what it is today, MUN has cemented itself as the best experience of my childhood.”
Full List of Recognized Winners:
Diplomatic Commendation: Emma Burstiner, Kwame Boateng, Ben Shi, Zane Khader
Honorable Delegation: Akshay Joglekar, Archer Manning, Julia Blank, Veda Swaminathan, Luis Quisimbig
Outstanding Delegation: Nikhil Khanna, David Katz, Emilia Thornton, Tim Kim, Mathew Meyers
Best Delegation: Aarya Dhru, Ambika Grover, Melissa Woo