The Student News Site of Hudson High School

The Explorer

The Student News Site of Hudson High School

The Explorer

The Student News Site of Hudson High School

The Explorer

Model UN attends national conference in Chicago

Model+UN+students+explored+the+area+around+their+hotel+on+the+Chicago+River.+On+their+first+day+in+the+city%2C+the+group+visited+Water+Tower+Place+and+had+their+first+conference+committee+session.+Used+with+permission%2FJames+Hill.
Model UN students explored the area around their hotel on the Chicago River. On their first day in the city, the group visited Water Tower Place and had their first conference committee session. Used with permission/James Hill.

Hudson’s Model UN team took on the Windy City for the University of Chicago’s High School Model UN Conference (MUNUC) from February 8 to 11. While there, the seven HHS students debated past and current global issues such as Botswana’s independence, railway standards across Europe and sharing information between NATO countries.

“This was my first conference, so I was a bit scared going into it,” shared sophomore Grace Gard on her MUNUC experience. “But, I ended up making a lot of friends and found my committee more interesting than I expected.”

Model UN typically attends three to four conferences per year. They begin their season in the fall with a two-day conference at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania; one local January conference, typically at Western Reserve; and a national four-day conference in the spring.

In years prior, the group attended the Washington Area Model United Nations Conference (WAMUNC) hosted by George Washington University in Washington, D.C. in the spring. However, due to their conference this year taking place over HHS’s spring break, the club decided to try a new conference.

“Both conferences were great as, personally, I prefer crisis [committees] and got to participate in crisis [committees] at both. The Chicago conference was a bit more fun for me because the staff and fellow delegates seemed to be more laid back than at WAMUNC,” sophomore Norman Updegraff said.

MUNUC was one of the largest conferences the Hudson team has ever attended, with over 3,000 students from high schools all over America and some even from international countries. For Hudson’s group of only seven delegates, at moments, it may have felt like they were a small fish in a big pond.

The Model UN officers pose in their Western Business Attire after a successful opening ceremony. Used with permission/A.Tallat-Kelpsa.

Sophomore Tallulah Macchione revealed, “There was a diverse mix of kids there and there were a lot of people to engage with. My committee had about 300 people since it was a General Assembly, but we could still connect with others. Some other committees had specialized historical topics and were smaller, with only 30 delegates, so the size really ranged.”

In each HHS student’s committee, making connections with delegates from other schools was just as natural as the debates themselves. “I met two girls from the outskirts of Chicago and it was interesting to meet people like them from different cities. We still keep in touch and might possibly see each other in college. In my committee, it was great to make friends because you aren’t as lonely when you connect with others and you can get lunch together during breaks,” shared senior Selin Gunhan.

Students got to further these connections at the Delegate Social. Inside a large ballroom, half the room was filled with various arcade and life-size board games, while the other half was an open space for dancing and jumping to a DJ. Many students were relieved to not have to wear their “Western Business Attire” (typically business suits), which must be worn during committee sessions. Delegates got the opportunity to interact with students from their school, committee and other conference members. 

Sophomore Aidan Conkling tediously removes another Jenga block during the most intense Jenga game Chicago has ever seen. Used with permission/A.Tallat-Kelpsa.

“It really was a great opportunity to hang around with and socialize with people you otherwise wouldn’t have talked to; everyone even got their minute of fame, from the girl with the fastest reflexes I’ve ever seen during the “Strike a Light” arcade game to mine and Ava’s Jenga game, which I have been told to say— under duress— that I lost,” reminisced sophomore Aidan Conkling. 

Apart from conference activities, they also had the opportunity to explore the city. Some of their destinations included going to Water Tower Place, eating authentic Chicago pizza, dining at the Billy Goat Cafe and visiting Millennium Park.

 “My favorite part was seeing the bean in Millennium Park, even though it was under construction, because it was super silvery and cool looking,” reported senior Chris Rego.

Model UN will still have their weekly meetings at HHS until the end of April despite MUNUC being the final conference of the year. With new solutions to the world’s toughest issues and friends made from across the country, every delegate within the club would easily attend again, if given the chance. 

If you are interested in joining Model UN next year, view the bulletin board outside room C205 for more information or contact co-advisors Mrs. Von Ville or Mr. Hill at [email protected] and [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Ava Tallat-Kelpsa
Ava Tallat-Kelpsa, Editor-in-Chief
Ava Tallat-Kelpsa is a senior in her fourth and final year of writing for The ExplorerIn addition to the newspaper, she’s involved with the Model United Nations team, Writing Club, Chamber Choir, Summit Choral Society, teaching PSR and interning at Destination Hudson. In her limited free time, she enjoys traveling, reading A Series of Unfortunate Events and buying more than necessary at garage sales. After high school, Ava plans to pursue journalism at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. 
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