Salvador Model United Nations, PASB's MUN conference, is quickly approaching. In order to better prepare incoming freshmen for this prestigious event, Secretary General Renata Prata along with Bia Sampaio, Lua Presídio and Marina Siqueira, and with the support from Mr. Ryan, chaired a junior MUN for the eighth grade on May 4th. Parallel to the eighth grade curriculum on China, the topic of discussion was the dispute in the South China Sea, and had a variety of delegations including the USA, China, Japan, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hence the selection of SALMUN’s Asian Caucus chairs, Bia Sampaio and Lua Presídio, to be involved in Junior conference. Delegations had to submit position papers and resolutions, simulating their future tasks in MUN.
The Junior SALMUN leadership team put time and effort to develop a comprehensive study guide along with detailed rubrics and examples of material for delegations to follow. Mr. Ryan was extremely supportive of the project and helped communicate deadlines with the students, and the team greatly appreciated how he believed in the project. Additionally, the chairs provided timely feedback for delegates to make changes and improve the work they submitted. Delegates were continuously encouraged to ask questions, comment, or just talk to the chairs about the issue. Seeing the improvement in the delegates was one of the most rewarding feelings after the hard work the chairs put in this project. By challenging the young delegates with complicated situations that require negotiation and diplomacy, these students will grow to become responsible citizens who proactively engage in global affairs for a better tomorrow.
Another goal of the Junior SALMUN was to share the passion for MUN and stimulate delegates to participate at an early age. PASB’s MUN club, despite the school’s 16-year-old SALMUN tradition, has faced a weak period, being one of the least represented schools in the past BRAMUN and SPMUN. With many other conferences coming up, it is crucial to spread the interest for MUN and encourage students to partake in this beneficial activity. MUN is not only valuable for college and learning, but it also develops friendship and collaboration between students of different grades, thus it greatly contributes to a more united PASB community.
Although the leadership team and the delegates put an extensive amount of effort in preparing the conference, the extremely short amount of time didn't allow students to reach their fullest potential. The twenty minutes of Global Leadership along with a 15 minute resolution workshop were the few instances in which the chairs could instruct delegates on the format of debate and the work they should complete. Due to scheduling and time constraints, very few moments could be dedicated to helping the delegates prepare for the conference, and this is an aspect next year's mini MUN team needs to address. Furthermore, only one resolution was voted upon and very few amendments were discussed in the fifty minute period. Unfortunately, only a couple of students had the opportunity to speak, also because of the short amount of time offered to such important activity.
The Junior SALMUN team hopes that the incoming ninth graders will be more familiar with the format of MUN and the responsibilities of being a delegate. Through learning these skills, they will be able to develop more complex and precise resolutions, resulting in a much higher quality of debate. The chairs wish to continue this mini MUN tradition, and in the future perhaps include seventh graders and, if possible, dedicate more time to discussing the resolutions. By exposing young delegates to the struggles of our generation, we are creating globalized citizens who desire to act to make the world a better place. Passionate and well prepared delegates make an exceptional conference, and that is what PASB's MUN team hopes to accomplish.
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