FUHSD schools attend Berkeley Model United Nations

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Renee Pu

On a sunny Friday afternoon, a group of MVHS students stepped down the bart, which carried them from Cupertino to Berkeley, and joined the crowd of excited students to begin their three-day journey.

On March 4, students from all over the world gathered in the campus of University of California- Berkeley to attend the 64th Berkeley Model United Nations event. As an international event, BMUN is also one of the most competitive Model United Nation conferences across United States.

Among the 1800 student delegates present, 17 were from MV MUN club and 31 from the MUN club in Lynbrook High School. Students ranged from freshmen to seniors, and spent March 4 to March 6 at UC Berkeley, the first college that opened up its campus for MUN conferences in 1952.

Two teams from MVHS won the Outstanding Delegate award, including the Arab League comprised of seniors Ramya Dronamraju and Eric Lee and the Social and Humanitarian Council comprised of seniors Pranav Jandhyala and Nupoor Gandhi. In addition, senior Mihir Gokhale in Asian Infrastructure Bank and sophomore Nicholas Chen in Disarmament Security Council won the Honorable Delegate award.

BMUN provided students from different schools and countries with the chance to exchange ideas.BMUN Infographic

*Award information provided by MV senior Ramya Dronamraju

Lynbrook senior Jimmy Zhi, director of logistics of Lynbrook High School MUN, recalled the experience of debating with the Spanish Bilingual team when he was a member of the Chinese Bilingual team in Specialized Committee.

When they were preparing for the debate, each team used their designated language, Chinese for Chinese BIlingual and Spanish for Spanish Bilingual, to discuss within the group, which enabled them to keep the content secret.

“Neither of the two groups knew what the other one was going to focus on,” Zhi said. “And when the debate started, we all talked in English to convey our ideas.”

Zhi believes that since he joined MUN in his sophomore year, he has improved a lot in negotiation, teamwork and public speaking skills. By learning from other delegates, he also became more sophisticated in solving problems differently and creatively and in regarding international issues from multiple aspects.

“[Although BMUN] is my last MUN conference [in high school],” Zhi said, “I plan to continue to do MUN in college to learn more.”

The scale of BMUN is remarkable, but sometimes student delegates choose to go to a conference that is less competitive.

For example, MVHS senior Priyanka Agarwal chose to not to sign up for this event, though she had attended one several years ago. Instead, she plans to go to a similar but smaller MUN conference in UC Davis in May.

“When there are so many delegates [at BMUN], it’s really hard to get your voices heard,” Agarwal said.