Led by history teacher Model UN coach Ben Mini, Waynflete sent another outstanding team to the Maine Model United Nations Conference (MeMUNC). Following is an account of the conference from the perspective of Althea Sellers ’17. This year Althea competed at the college level with the USM team. As part of her senior project, she worked with her USM teammates, serving as a MeMUNC organizer and committee chair. At the bottom of her report on MeMUNC ’17 you will find an impressive list of Waynflete award recipients.
After going to MeMUNC as a delegate for three years and then competing with USM this fall, it felt like it was time for a new vantage point on MeMUNC XIX this spring. Thus, I took a class at USM called Conference Planners and spent about three hours a week learning parliamentary procedure from a chair standpoint and writing background guides for my senior project though Waynflete.
Chairing is a very different experience from being a delegate and I feel so lucky I got a chance to try it. It’s so interesting to watch a room full of high schoolers work out the kinks of Parliamentary Procedure and form connections diplomatically. As a chair, we watch for the delegate who sponsors a paper alone and see them as someone who lacks the compromise Model UN requires, and we watch for the delegate who doesn’t talk much but draws people around them during un-mods and quietly brings together the room.
We also were so touched by kids who wanted to get to know us, asking us questions about Model UN and college, and were friendly and helpful when the projector wasn’t working or when we had trouble reading their handwriting. I felt genuinely proud of the kids in our committee – even though I was the same age as some of them – because watching them come together and work through the challenges put before them was so touching. It was hard to give awards – which is not something I’d realized before, because we could see who wanted them the most and who Model UN came easily to as opposed to the ones working very, very hard. I found myself reflecting on my own award last spring and trying to figure out what earned me that because the answer isn’t as clear now that I’ve been on the other side.
In addition, it was so great to see how well Waynflete was doing. In order to avoid a conflict of interest, I chaired a committee that had no delegates from Waynflete. However, even with no direct interaction, I heard words of praise nearly constantly about the Waynflete delegation. My USM friends were asking me if I knew certain Waynflete students, followed up with “because they’re so good,” and members of leadership let me know before the ceremony that Waynflete had won awards in nearly every committee.
Waynflete’s delegation was polite and enthusiastic, and I heard words of praise from everyone. I worked with the team leading up to the conference and felt so excited every time I had an email exchange with someone about the minutia of parliamentary procedure, or went over in person how to garner support for a resolution. As usual, the Waynflete team was a force with which to be reckoned.
I love MeMUNC so much and it’s been a formative part of my high school years, one that I intend to take into the future. I’ve already started to organize chairing again next spring, and I really cannot stress enough my desire that anyone wanting to try Model UN go to MeMUNC next year, because they will not regret it for a second.
Thank you Waynflete for helping me realize how fantastic Model UN really is! I’ll miss our team a ton.
An article Althea wrote earlier on her year long USM Model UN experience is linked here.
2017 Waynflete MMUNC Award Recipients
Best Delegation (Venezuela): Grace Bramley-Simmons, Luna Soley, Lily Fanburg
Diplomacy: Isabel Canning
Distinguished Delegate: Owen Hoffsten, Grace Bramley-Simmons, Henry Wasserman, Adelaide Lyall
Honorable Mention: Ingrid Ansel-Mullen, Lily Fanburg, Alex Saade, Bob Wilson, Luna Soley, and Anja Schwieterman