Model UN Tops DVC Conference

Eric Weston, Staff Writer

Model United Nations nabbed the best overall delegation award at the November 5th conference at Diablo Valley College. This is the first time that Campolindo has received such an award. The award is given to the participating school that demonstrates the best speaking ability and cooperation in forming resolutions.

Already a seasoned veteran, senior Will Howard came away with the prestigious Gavel Award for representing Tunisia in the African Union committee. The gavel is given to only one participant in each of the ten committees, rewarding the participant who spoke best and offered the most constructive solutions to the assigned topics. Campolindo junior Nora Mohamed also earned the Gavel Award in her committee.

Senior Emily Leach says the secret to being a successful delegate is to “look at your country’s perspective, because their views may differ from your own.” Leach has participated in Model UN since her sophomore year, with each new conference requiring her to study a different set of issues and internalize the ideology and background of a new country.

In past events, San Ramon’s California High has dominated because their school offers Model UN as a course. This year, Cal High did not attend the conference. Campolindo claimed victory as the best overall delegation.

Model United Nations attracts approximately forty Campolindo students each year, most of whom are recruited out of Mrs. Kerr’s AP European History class. Sophmores Zach Cole and Dhruv Suri are two such students participating in Model UN for the first time. Cole said he was attracted to Model UN to have “the opportunity to see what the United Nations is like.” Suri has enjoyed the research process because he has learned about an unfamiliar subject, intellectual property rights, while also immersing himself in the politics and economy of his assigned country, Laos.

Model United Nations is fundamentally a role-playing event, where delegates must debate issues from a new point of view. The event teaches the importance of diplomatic resolution and mutual cooperation; there are no explicit winners or losers.

Each participant is assigned a country that he or she must represent in one of the United Nations’ various committees. Examples include the Security Council, which imposes sanctions and authorizes declarations of war, and the General Assembly, which determines the budget of the United Nations, creates resolutions, and appoints members to the Security Council. Students discuss and propose solutions for real-world problems such as North Korean aggression and the spread of infectious diseases.