The accomplishments just keep coming for our Model United Nations club. Our team took the “best club” award at the University of California, Berkeley Model United Nations (BMUN), held March 5 and 6.
The success is even more incredible as UCC was the only Canadian school represented. This accomplishment means our team has won a best delegation award at every major conference attended over the past three years, at McGill University, Harvard University, Columbia University and now again at UC Berkeley.
BMUN is the oldest Model UN in the world, started in 1952, with more than 1,800 students from around the globe participating. “Model UN in California is like nothing else you’ve seen,” says faculty adviser Matt Griem. “Many schools have Model UN as a full-credit high school course, and most, if not all history classes use Model UN in the curriculum.
A fellow teacher from Wisconsin told Griem that BMUN is the “Super Bowl” of Model UN. Schools from Southern California, such as Huntington Beach High School in Orange County and Mira Costa High School in Los Angeles are extremely competitive and are known around the world.
There are individual awards, awards for schools that take Model UN as a class and awards for schools that have clubs (like UCC). The boys fought hard in their respective debates, showing a strong knowledge of international affairs, the skill to convincingly speak in front of hundreds and the ability to negotiate and broker compromise with people holding very different points of view.
“This year, we ‘chipped away’ at the BMUN big prize,” says Griem, earning points for one first place finish and many second and third place awards. This disappointed some of our boys, who tried their best, but for one reason or another (and sometimes for reasons totally outside their control) couldn’t capture the first-place gavel.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud of UCC boys as when I watched IB2s such as Justin Lu and Joe Noss encourage and coach the younger boys, telling them to keep their head up, to be proud, and most importantly to be respectful, even when things didn’t go your way,” he says. “We’ve been talking about character lately- and these guys demonstrated it!”
The team this time round was:
For the IB2 guys, this will be their last conference of their high school career. Please congratulate all of them when you seen them at school.
–adapted from a file by Matt Griem