Model UN Students’ Take on Berkeley


The SVHS Model United Nations club, a high school tradition which is dedicated to exploring the formal procedure of the UN and creating solutions to pressing global issues, has traveled to Berkeley to participate in the university’s 70th MUN conference. 

With 18 students on board, the school trip started on the morning of Friday March 4th, and terminated when the students arrived back in Sonoma on Sunday March 6th. Avid, AP US Government, and Honors Econ teacher, Mr. Tierney, also went on the trip, and has been the dedicated club advisor for three years. 

Additionally, on the coordination side, the club’s officers prepared extensively to make sure transportation and preparation for the conference was thorough. Said officers and their positions are as follows: Bella Quilici and Sean Tomany as Co-Presidents, Sky Staes as Vice President, Erin Nicholson as Secretary, and Sam Cutting as Treasurer. 

In order to be prepared for the conference, delegates spent hours making sure their position papers were elaborate and detailed. Junior Hannah Volat “started by researching the basics of both [her] topics to gain better understanding of them,” and then “researched [her] topics in relation to [her] country’s perspective on the issues.” She chose the IGF committee (Internet Governance Forum), and wrote both topics by herself. 

All research papers were required to be three pages single spaced per topic, so Volat “wrote about 4 or 5 pages of notes, then consolidated them into [her essay] to illustrate [her] country’s perspective and possible solutions to both issues.” She represented the Republic of Korea at the conference, where she presented their stance on topic A (data privacy), and topic B (the regulation of cryptocurrency).

Additionally, when writing her research paper, freshmen Kendall Clemons “did a lot of research on past and current international action, country policy, and resolution ideas for peacekeeping budgets and missions.” In order to prepare for the 5th Administration and Budgetary committee, Clemons “analyzed the past peacekeeping missions,” making sure that in her paper she didnt “simply critique what has been done, but what could be done if we relinquish our prior beliefs about how the international community can enforce stability around the world.” 

She says that although the process of going over “all of the statistics and analysis to understand the history of [her] topic” left her drained, her time of rest “was very rewarding in the end at the conference.”

Sophomore Victoria Hernandez was in CSTD (commission of science and technology for developement) committee, and was partnered with fellow sophomore Solana Staes. Their committee was smaller sized, but she claims to have noted the other delegate’s “friendly and understanding” qualities. She was impressed by her peers, saying “they were really smart and knew what they were talking about.” 

Victoria was impressed by the few “power houses that came extra prepared” because they “outshone everyone else and really raised the bar.” After seeing the way these delegates worked together, Victoria was inspired. She says in her next committees, that’s who “[her and her partner] want to be at [their] next committee now that [they] know what [Model UN is] like.”

For her last year, senior Sawyer Finley was liked “ meeting people [her] age from across the country” most, and was thrilled to be able to “talk over world issues with them.” Although she didn’t apply to UC Berkeley, she wished she had after being on campus for MUN. “I really liked the campus and the feel of the city.” 

While in 2023 she will be off at college, she hopes the next year’s Model UN club goes to New York for their conference. “I was excited to go to the New York conference before we changed plans because of Covid because there’s so much to do and see in New York.”

If you are interested in joining the SVHS Model United Nations club, be sure to sign up during club rush next year.