Chantilly Model UN hosts 14th annual conference


photo contributed by Chantilly MUN

Sophomore Raheeg Joari and junior Varun Yadav present an update to one of the 20 CHMUN committees. They, along with other CHMUN volunteers, spent months preparing for the conference by developing ideas to spur debate.

Raeshin Kilsby and Ihsan Ozdemir

From renting a U-Haul minivan at the last-minute to making the spur of the moment decision to cut the Saturday portion by three hours due to inclement weather, the CHMUN student leaders met many bumps along the road to hosting the club’s 14th annual two-day conference. Because of the roof renovation project, the school was unable to be used, so Rachel Carson Middle School was booked for the event.

“CHMUN is the Model United Nations conference that Chantilly hosts every year,” junior and Director of Hospitality Yifan Chen said. “Other students from schools around Northern Virginia come and participate in simulations of United Nations (UN) chambers and learn about international relations diplomacy.”

Along with Chantilly, other local schools such as Thomas Jefferson and McLean host their own annual conferences. At these events, students practice public speaking by discussing global issues through the lenses of different nations of the world.

“CHMUN welcomes student delegates from around the D.C. metropolitan area, with this iteration having over 750 attending delegates,” senior and Director-General Khai Nguyen said. “Our Model UN conference encourages delegates to develop new alliances in pursuit of a common goal and to resolve pressing global issues, while still maintaining a light and fun atmosphere.”

Because of the building renovations and inclement weather, the MUN members had to adapt not only to a new environment, but also to a new time schedule.

“Despite the truncated schedule, our staff of over 120 members was still able to provide the educational experience that CHMUN XIV aimed to present to attending delegates,” Nguyen said.

Although the conference is student-run, Spanish teacher and head sponsor Zoraida Vazquez contributed countless hours to making the whole event as successful as it was.

“CHMUN takes a lot of hours and dedication because usually the competitions happen over weekends, it takes a lot of commitment to hold a conference together,” Vazquez said.

MUN has five different departments, each with their own duties to fulfill in preparation,which began back in April of 2018. The staff department arranges rooms and assign chairs, hospitality is in charge of coordinating food for over 800 people, publications is in charge of printing awards and other documents, technology handles any technical difficulties and crisis is in charge of running crisis committees, which are normal committees with the addition of live updates. At the end, CHMUN had made an approximate profit of $6000 for their efforts.

“Although CHMUN is the largest event that Chantilly MUN prepares for over the course of the school year, the club also attends collegiate conferences where students travel to among the most competitive conferences in the nation,” Nguyen said.

Prior to competing at a conference, students conduct extensive research on their assigned topic and compile it into a position paper that offers solutions to the issues.

“Personal strategies guide our research in preparation for conferences as it dictates how in depth we research, on what specific areas we research and how much further preparation is needed,” Nguyen said.

Many members have expressed that not only is MUN an educational opportunity that they can fit into their schedules as they see fit, but it is also a means to meet new people.

“The flexibility of Chantilly MUN allows for each of its members to participate when convenient to them and be as committed as they want to be,” Nguyen said. “There are many benefits that come alongside being a part of Chantilly MUN, but aside from providing educational experiences, [it is] a network to meet new people from Chantilly and other schools as well.”