By Mariyah Ramirez
The Model United Nations (MUN) team hosted the Valley Regional MUN (VRMUN) conference on Saturday February 4.
Over 300 students attended the event from schools all over the San Fernando Valley and beyond including schools as far away as Long Beach. This was their biggest VRMUN so far.
The conference offered a variety of committees and topics that ranged from protecting human rights to the rivalry in the Lord of the Rings saga.
After registration, students attended an opening ceremony with guest speaker Senator Alex Padilla. Padilla spoke about his journey growing up in San Fernando, inspiring students to pursue any career they want no matter their background.
At the conference, students became representatives of a country and solved a problem with other delegates from other schools.
The delegates presented their statements from their countries’ positions and then debated as well as negotiated with the other delegates before agreeing on a solution.
This was the fourth year in a row that Granada Hills Charter (GHC) has hosted the conference. It is one of the most anticipated MUN conferences in the state.
VRMUN is also completely run by the students on the MUN team. Secretary General and senior Brinda Garg managed various student efforts. Students from the secretariat staff handled all public relations, budgeting, and even fundraising during the event.
They also created the materials. The students of MUN wrote all of the background guides on the different topics, sometimes up to 20 pages worth. They also created all the questions for debate and facilitated committee meetings.
“Model UN provides a community and the ability to discuss pressing issues in a climate when it feels like you can’t make change,” junior Juliana Johnson said. “Model UN trains the leaders of the future, showing them that they can make a difference and that what they do matters.”
MUN teaches participants life long skills like research, public speaking, debating and critical thinking. They also learn leadership skills and meet fellow delegates from around the world.
Many delegates were nervous during the first committee whether they were committee chairs or first time MUN members.
“I was really nervous during the first committee because I had to review parliamentary procedures and I was leading the committee for the first time,” junior Bianka Gomez Vasquez said.
Once delegates became accustomed to the procedures and debates, the second and third committees were successful.
“During the committees, it was really exciting because I got to interact with delegates who probably never have been into MUN or VRMUN before which is so fun as it’s a new experience for everyone involved including us,” sophomore Olivia Zhao said.
The GHC MUN team has grown exponentially in the last few years to over a hundred members, especially with the inclusion of students from the TK-8 campus.
Next month is busy for MUN. They will take over 100 delegates to the USC MUN competition, followed by 25 to 30 students to the Berkeley competition later in the month. There will also be 15 delegates attending the national competition in New York, where students will be able to visit the United Nations building and meet with the actual UN representatives.