Sacred Heart Preparatory’s (SHP) Model United Nations (MUN) team has won five awards competing at the Berkeley Model UN (BMUN) conference, marking the “most impressive results for any SHP MUN team, ever,” said the club’s advisor Greg Roig, SHP social science teacher. This is the second year in a row—and only the second time in SHP history—that the team has won awards at the conference.
The SHP MUN club is comprised of 35 total members. Earlier in the semester, the team also competed at the Santa Clara Valley MUN conference, with six students receiving three different awards: Outstanding Delegate Award, Research Award, and Honorable Mention.
This year, the 16-person team that competed at BMUN went up against more than 2,000 other high school delegates from around the world. “Our kids did something that frankly I didn’t think was possible. We won three outstanding delegate awards in addition to multiple commendations. I cannot stress how impressive of a feat this was for us, first as a school that does MUN as a club, not a class, and secondly to do it at the most competitive MUN conference in the nation,” said Roig.
In his second year as a member of the club, Samir Ravi (SHP ’24) agreed with Roig that the group is “very self-directed” at SHS compared to many other schools, which in turn results in members improving their organizational and study skills.
“MUN has really helped my research skills—and that has transferred to my other classes like history and English,” added Ravi. “You also need to make speeches on the spot, and that helps grow your confidence and public speaking skills.”
As the students prepared, they did not know whether the conference would be online or live, said Roig, “yet they persisted, stayed focused, and delivered.” Last year, conferences were held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was higher stakes, being in person,” said MUN club president Clara Degois Sainz (SHP ’22). She has participated in the club since her freshman year and witnessed the club’s growth and “culture shift” as the group became more serious in its preparation for conferences.
“We’ve built a really good community,” said Degois Sainz. “All the students really want to be here and work hard at it. We’ve gotten better at organizing and communicating, but honestly, everybody works so hard that it makes it easy.”
Degois Sainz considers international relations and current affairs to be among her favorite areas of study. “MUN is a great place for me to pursue those interests, and really engage with other students who are passionate about those subjects as well. It’s a lot of fun.”
The following students won awards at BMUN 2022:
Thea Fonstad (SHP ‘23) – Outstanding Delegate Award, Venezuela Organization of American States)
Isabella Tapper (SHP ‘24) Outstanding Delegate Award, Venezuela, World Health Organization)
Clara Degois Sainz (SHP ’22) – Outstanding Delegate Award, Kirsten Gillibrand, Senate
Makena Tom (SHP ‘24) and Raina Singh (SHP ‘24) – Commendation Award, Venezuela, Disarmament and International Security Committee
Samir Ravi (SHP ’24) – Commendation Award, Angus King, Senate