Sacred Heart Preparatory’s (SHP) Model United Nations (MUN) team competed virtually at the Santa Clara Valley MUN (SCVMUN) last weekend, receiving the most awards and commendations at a single conference in SHP’s history and tripling its wins from a year ago at the same conference.
“[It’s] truly remarkable, considering that this was our first time competing in a virtual conference,” said SHP social science teacher Greg Roig, the club’s advisor, noting it was also the first time competing for many of its 44 members.
The group represented Singapore, Canada, and two students portrayed specific leaders from the European Union and Saudi Arabia.
In previous years, the school’s MUN participated in conferences, but primarily for the experience and not necessarily to contend for awards, says Roig. “That changed last year when we won four awards at [this] same conference.”
“We’re a new MUN team, and we’re in it to win it,” said MUN president Harsimran Chohan (SHP ’22), who said that the new MUN student administration has overhauled its coaching approach.
Roig added that the team’s success was due to the extensive student preparations and the leadership team that created a comprehensive course of study in group- and one-on-one Zoom meetings.
Chohan reflected on how the team put in extra effort this year to familiarize itself with, and prepare for, the new virtual context of the event—where every aspect of the conference had to be adjusted and addressed, from caucuses and resolutions to the inability to move around physically or pass notes.
Some of the new preparation tactics this year included student leadership-created slide presentations explaining in depth the four parts of a position paper (required of each student), the parts making up a committee, and decorum, explained Chohan.
“I am especially proud of the many first-timers who not only successfully participated in their first MUN conference, but did it under the difficult circumstances of a virtual environment,” said Roig. “As we prepare for the first (and hopefully last) virtual Berkeley Conference in the coming weeks, the future of MUN at SHP seems very bright knowing that we have such an amazing group of students leading the way.”
The following students won awards or received commendations at SCVMUN 2021:
Emily Mustarde: Historical
Isabella Tapper: UNESCO (x2)
Luca Suarez: UNESCO (x2)
Luke Scheible: SOCHUM
Andrew Samuels: SOCHUM
Clara Degois Sainz: NATO
Andrew Rocha: NATO