The Golden State: RHSMUN 2013

The view of the Bay Area from the University of California: Berkeley tour bus.

Waking up to the chilly 6 am morning of December 3, 22 students including 2 faculty members from St. George’s School travelled to San Francisco, California to attend the 2013 edition of Regional High School Model United Nations. The trip was chaperoned by Mr. Stephen Ziff and Dr. John Hughes.

The St. George’s ‘delegation’ took a 9-o’clock flight to San Francisco International Airport. Students spent the afternoon touring Union Square and the Pier area of San Francisco. One of the many highlights of the day was eating at the famous burger restaurant, In-n-Out. That night, students were taken to the Cheesecake Factory, where they indulged in the creamy, delicious, and ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ cheesecakes.

The second day of the tour featured a workshop series for beginner delegates that were new to the world of Model United Nations. The experienced delegates instead went on a tour of either University of California: Berkeley or Stanford University. Students were again given much free time in San Francisco before the opening ceremonies commenced.

The third and fourth days were both filled by participating in the traditional, rich Model United Nations conference. The conference was hosted at Hilton San Francisco in Union Square by the International Model United Nations Association.

Students spent the two days in one of ten committees which simulated real United Nations bodies. Acting as representatives from their assigned countries, students discussed pressing, real-world issues. By the end of the conference, students created resolutions, decisions, and working papers which mirrored their real counterparts in the United Nations.

The conference promised a rigorous and educational experience for novice attendees as well as veteran Model United Nations students. However, the educational experience of RHSMUN began far before the first day of conference, as all students were required to read the background materials written about their committee’s topic and write a short paper on their delegation’s position regarding the topic.

Students from St. George’s School found the intensity of the trip drastically picked up after the first two days.  Sleep-ins and the consumption of In-n-Out burgers were quickly replaced by late night preparation and early morning coffee runs.

However, at the end of the trip, students felt they had all learned something, be it the functions of the United Nations, goals in life, or impactful perspectives.

Dr. Hughes commented, “It was arguably the best group of students I have worked and travelled with. Not one committee director felt our students did not participate nor play an integral role in the sessions.”