Students participate in Harvard’s Model United Nations

Senior Gloria Li, along with several other students, present their resolution at HMUN in Boston.

Senior Gloria Li, along with several other students, present their resolution at HMUN in Boston.

by Ned Martenis

Model United Nations sent 20 delegates to the Harvard Model United Nations (HMUN) conference from Thursday, Jan. 31 to Sunday, Feb. 3.

According to junior Riley Heiman, an under-secretary general with senior Gloria Li and junior Amiya Seligman and secretary general, senior Sejal Vallabh, three thousand participants from more than 20 countries attended the conference. He called it “a gathering of some of the liveliest people from around the world.”

Heiman said that this event “is the most competitive. People come very well prepared and are much more detailed in their suggestions.” Only a few awards are handed out per committee, and Heiman describes the process as “highly selective.”

This school’s accomplishments include delegates being included in crisis committees, as well as positions on the Security Council, the Coca-Cola board of directors and the Iroquois Confederacy.

Li won the “Outstanding Delegate” award in her committee.

Heiman was selected to be part of a crisis committee. “A conference official showed up at my hotel room door at 1:30 a.m., woke me up and told me I had 15 minutes to get to the committee.” Despite a lack of sleep, Heiman recalls that “it was one of the most exciting parts of the conference.”

In this scenario, Heiman said, “Coca-Cola had been mistreating their employees, and so unions had taken action.  Riots had been precipitated by the assassinations of three union chiefs.”  However, Heiman was “taken by surprise when Harvard students, dressed as FBI agents, ‘arrested’ a fellow North delegate for obstruction of justice.”

Delegates persevered, and in the end resolved the issue without further “bloodshed.”

Though the events were fictional, Heiman called the conferences “a good way to think issues through.”

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