By Seth Williams
On November twenty-fourth, 2014, Tustin High will be holding its In-House Conference for the MUN, or Model United Nations, Program. Model United Nations is an elective that gives students the potential to help solve the world’s issues one step at a time. Students play the part of individual countries coming together to compromise on issues currently being faced by the actual UN. By coming together, they create practical solutions to major problems. For example, Genocide, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) or Nuclear Proliferation. Students formulate practical solutions to world problems that could even be taken into consideration by the real UN.
At a MUN Conference students come together in a classroom where they discuss at least two, if not more, sides to an issue. Students learn more about the subject from each other, and may want to collaborate during a caucus. A caucus is a period in which students can get up from their desks and collaborate with other “countries” about issues and possible solutions. Through communication with each other, delegates create theoretical solutions to end genocide before it occurs, or discuss how to cease war in the Middle East, for example. This program is undoubtedly one of the most academic and enjoyable programs here at Tustin Hugh. It is also specific to Tustin High, as Foothill and Beckman do not possess such a program.
Tustin will host the In-House Conference, and will accommodate several other high schools in Southern California. The hosting high school also provides lunch and classrooms for the students. Three to four delegates from each high school will be in each “block” with different world issues. Here, they read or recite memorized speeches and strive to influence the other delegates’ opinions or outlooks on an issue. At the end of a conference, all the delegates return to the hosting high school’s gym bleachers, and awards are handed out for to exceptional delegates.
There are four different award categories: Commendations, Research, Outstandings, and the Best Delegate Award. Commendations are for delegates that presented an exceptional amount of speeches and gave multiple comments, which are on a grading scale from one to five, with one being the worst, and five the best. Outstanding awards are for delegates who gave thought-provoking and convincing speeches, as well as a number of exceptional comments. Students who did an exceptional amount of research, and provide a well-worded policy paper may earn Research Awards. Delegates write Policy Papers to help build their speeches. Best Delegate Awards are given to the delegate who earned the most points during the conference. Points are awarded for comments, speeches and caucusing. Every award won comes in the form of a diploma, of sorts, with a student’s name, committee, and school.
However, MUN is not as simple as it seems. It takes effort and time to enjoy this program. It is demanding, but can benefit a student’s future. Mr. Kevin Trevithick, or as he is affectionately known by his students as, “Mr. Trev,” instructs Freshman MUN’ers skillfully and with an enthusiastic attitude. As delegates move through high school, they will also be instructed by Mr. David Waldram and Mrs. Eleanor Zechiel, both of whom are experienced and dedicated role models leading the Sophomore, Junior, and Senior classes. With these three teachers at the helm of THSMUN, we have become one of the most prestigious high school MUN programs in the country, making the Top 150 Model UN High School Teams in North America List. With more and more delegates coming in from middle schools each year, we are growing in recognition and authority within the North American Model UN System.
MUN is an engaging, educational program that can open multiple pathways to success. Tustin High is among the most impressive teams in the country. It helps students speak easily in public, write essays, and excel in academics. Students who succeed in MUN may be better equipped than other candidates applying for the same college.