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Gladiators at GatorMUN

By Hannah Kim

Source from Brenda Bolouvi

Students who represent many nations virtually attend the GatorMUN conference over Zoom.

Entering with the hope of representing dichotomous political stances, making diplomatic solutions, and bringing honor to New Hyde Park, the Model United Nations team got ready to debate at the GatorMUN conference, which usually takes place in Florida. Students represented delegates from Sudan and Ukraine, as well as numerous other important figures in committees such as the World Health Organization, the Commission on the Status of Women, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Along with MUN adviser Mr. Novak, the team entered the opening ceremony for the weekend of January 22. The conference consisted of five intense committee sessions where delegates were expected to debate, collaborate, and create papers containing plausible solutions before the end of the conference. The members worked for 12 hours while closely following a tentative schedule.

Students attended from all over the nation with competitors coming from New York to California. Each committee consisted of a variety of people of different ages, backgrounds and ideas.

The virtual conference process was very different from the conventional Model UN competition, and participants utilized Zoom's hand-raising feature, breakout rooms and messaging system in order to maintain the order of debate. For more advanced committee styles, an application called Slack was used to private message other delegates and the staff. Due to the usage of various online platforms, the debate was able to be conducted within the safety of participants’ own homes.

Source from Emily Speter

Delegates take advantage of an unmoderated caucus to discuss plausible solutions for Argentina's transition to democracy.

“This virtual conference was vastly different than any other in-person conferences I’ve been to. It is much more difficult to establish connections and have multiple conversations at once. Although this was a new experience, I can't wait to be back in the committee room,” said sophomore Brenda Bolouvi.

This conference gave experience to numerous new Model United Nations delegates and helped refresh the knowledge of the upperclassmen.

“It was exciting to see how the debate progressed through every single committee session. I think it was a great learning experience even with the current circumstances,” said sophomore Debarati Chowdhury.

The members of the team worked tirelessly to discuss and bring attention to crucial topics. Additionally, sophomore Emily Speter was awarded the Outstanding Delegate award in The Transition to Democracy: Argentine National Congress committee.


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