Sweeping SIDMUN

By Alex Tomalski


Since February, nearly 100 students have spent countless nights researching and preparing for SIDMUN. One might ask what SIDMUN is. The Sewanhaka Inter-District Model United Nations is a conference that features delegates from each of the five schools in the Sewanhaka Central High School District: New Hyde Park Memorial, Floral Park Memorial, Elmont Memorial, Sewanhaka and H. Frank Carey.


The 28th annual SIDMUN Conference took place on Saturday, March 26. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the first in-person conference for everyone but the seniors. This year, New Hyde Park Memorial High School hosted the conference, giving many NHP delegates the chance to experience their very first in-person conference at the comfort of their own school.


Source by Debarati Chowdhury

Students listen to Mr. Lee Marcus, the guest speaker, during the opening ceremony.


“Since I knew where all the classrooms were, I was able to walk to the committee rooms. I was able to get a good seat as opposed to the people who came for Carey and Elmont,” freshman delegate Michael Leontis said.


The conference featured committees, which are based on United Nations Subcommittees. The delegates’ worked tirelessly to research, debate and take on the role of different countries' representatives in order to find solutions on the matter. This year, there were five featured Committees and topics: The Security Council’s Venezuelan Economic Crisis, The Disarmament and International Security Committee's (DISEC) Biological Weapon Control, The Human Rights Council’s (HRC) Ethics Regarding The Host Nation of the Olympics, The Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee's (SOCHUM) LGBTQ Rights and The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Vaccine Distribution.


“It was truly bittersweet knowing that this was my last SIDMUN with people I’ve made memories with for the past four years...”

There are many aspects that contribute to a successful SIDMUN, the first being partnership. SIDMUN is unique because two delegates have the option to work together to represent a single country. The Model UN club has worked tirelessly to prepare for SIDMUN, from in-class debates to workshops after school. Since February, the ninth grade class has had replication debates of the committees featured in SIDMUN. Delegates of all grades were welcome to attend in order to hone their skills for the upcoming event. Along with this, all were welcome to attend after-school workshops, with topics such as partner work, impromptu speeches and selecting blocs.


“Attending a workshop creates vital skills to take over your debate,” junior Nikon Alex, host of the Bloc Formation workshop, said.


Knowing your country's stance is an important factor in order to succeed in a debate.


“I was able to formulate plans and solutions knowing that my country’s policies were in full support,” sophomore Fiona O'Reilly said.


Source by Debarati Chowdhury

Sophomore Grace Heskial discusses the Venezuelan crisis with her committee.


Even with lesser-known countries, students were able to adapt throughout the debate and contribute to the flow of the committee.


“We managed to get our solutions across and brought up some important points that became the focal point of debate. Even though Ireland isn’t the most relevant country, we made our name known in the committee, which got the chair's attention,” freshman Sahir Bhatia said.


SIDMUN had been highly anticipated for months, or even years for those who have not experienced a true conference yet. This conference gave many students at New Hyde Park their first experience when it comes to collaborating with those they have never met on problems such as distributing vaccines or biological weapon security.


“My thoughts amongst SIDMUN were exceptionally fearful. Although my partner and I were extremely well versed amongst the subject within the SOCHUM committee regarding LGBTQ Rights, fear and nerves had been through the roof," freshman Aayan Ahmed said. "The fear and nerves had slightly calmed down the night before SIDMUN, and on the actual date of SIDMUN, my partner and I were working extremely diligently which had further ensured our acquisition of the Best Delegation award.’’ Aayan was one of many freshmen who had the opportunity to participate in an in-person conference with high school students of all ages.


Source by Debarati Chowdhury

Delegates raise their placards, wanting the chance to discuss their plans.


“I was so proud. The proud smiles for Mr. Galvin and Mr. Novak and the room erupted each time an NHP delegate won was astonishing. I’m not surprised by the outcome considering the extraordinary work that everyone put in. It was truly bittersweet knowing that this was my last SIDMUN with people I’ve made memories with for the past four years,” senior Faiza Ahmed, President of Model UN at New Hyde Park, said.


This year, the New Hyde Park Model UN club won all five Best Delegation awards, as well as a multitude of other awards:


UN SECURITY COUNCIL:

  • Best Delegation: Ireland (Anna Detke and David Ren)

  • Outstanding Delegation: Russia (Veronica Fulgieri and Grace Heskial)

  • Honorable Mention: India (Nikson Alex and Ethan Siegel)

DISEC:

  • Best Delegation: Ireland (Brenda Bolouvi and Rachel Houng)

  • Outstanding Delegation: Israel (Gianna Bonetti and Deborah Aderibigbe)

  • Honorable Mention: Republic of Korea (Grace Aderibigbe and Emily Speter)

  • Honorable Mention: India (Abigail Varghese and Samarth Jani)

  • Novice Award: Sweden (Suha Tasfia and Victoria Guerrero)

  • Novice Award: New Zealand (Tanisha Patel and Rafael Garcia)

UNHRC:

  • Best Delegation: Ireland (Alex Tomalski and Sahir Bhatia)

  • Outstanding Delegation: Republic of Korea (Alvin Paul and Varun Pallai)

  • Honorable Mention: Russia (Rebecca John and Guneet Hanjra)

  • Honorable Mention: Sweden (Allison Chen and Julia Kim)

SOCHUM:

  • Best Delegation: Columbia (Aayan Ahmed and Marco Valle)

  • Outstanding Delegation: Sweden (Kaitlyn Bell and Brandon Noguera)

  • Honorable Mention: Ireland (Sean Rodgers and Evelyn Joseph)

  • Honorable Mention: India (Isabella Privilegi)

  • Position Paper Award: Israel (Rachel Jacob and Tiffany Tso)

WHO:

  • Best Delegation: New Zealand (Ethan Mehta and Fiona O'Reilly)

  • Outstanding Delegate: Israel (Julia Lopez and Michayla Rinaldi)