Model UN Students in San Franciso

Apr 10, 2014

36 Heidelberg students traveled to San Francisco for the Model United Nations Far West Conference. Read about their trip through the words of senior political science major Emily Jones.

Day 5

Committee sessions here at MUNFW are officially finished! After four days of intense debate and caucusing, the Heidelberg delegation has done an outstanding job representing the interests of Argentina, China, and Turkey.

The majority of committees spent the day focusing on substantive debate for working papers that had been developed, and then proceeded to enter voting bloc to vote on the resolutions. Heidelberg delegates in Third Committee experienced some frustration when attempting to progress from substantive debate into voting bloc. Many Heidelberg delegates were involved in drafting working papers in various committees. On the final day of conference, tensions tend to run high, as all delegates hope to address as many of their assigned agenda topics as possible before time runs out.

General Assembly delegates spent the morning debating the issue of Crimea under the auspices of the 1950 United for Peace resolution. Delegates were also tasked with addressing a special session on humanitarian aid for the global community, although they did not have time to consider the issue.

To end the conference, delegates and advisors attended a Diplomat's Banquet at which awards were handed out. Such awards are largely based on the quality of pre-conference materials submitted prior to arrival in San Fran, including country profiles, policy statements, and resolutions. China received a delegation award this year!

Heidelberg students at Model UNWhen asked about his delegation, China head delegate Zach Pesicek responded, "The delegation representing the People's Republic of China performed unbelievably well at conference. All of us have gotten into the groove of the conference and we are having fun. I am extremely proud of my delegation, and I hope they appreciate the experiences they have enjoyed this past week."

As for his delegation, Argentina head delegate Dylan Blanton said, "The Model UN conference is progressing fantastically. I could not have asked for a better delegation, and we are doing some exciting things in conference (even if we are not able to get the Malvinas Islands back). I believe the delegation is learning a great deal from the conference, and I know we are having fun while we do it!"

As for Turkey head delegate Grant Bass, he remarked, "The delegation of Turkey consisted of a mixed team of veterans and newcomers that were not afraid to get the ball rolling at this session of MUNFW. Members in all committees put work into resolutions and sponsored multiple working papers that we had high confidence in. Overall, we had a solid Turkish delegation, and I cannot be more happy with their performance at conference. I hope that the newest MUN delegates got an experience that will stick with them for a lifetime, and that this was another fun run for returning delegates."

Heidelberg delegates represented this week, and are headed back to campus tomorrow! It has been a great conference, and I appreciate all those who have kept up with the MUNFW updates over the past several days! To learn more about Heidelberg Model UN, make sure to check out the group's Facebook page!


Day 4

Heidelberg delegates had another busy day at MUNFW! Conference sessions let out early Saturday afternoon so that students would have the opportunity to explore San Francisco!

During the day, Heidelberg delegates were very busy caucusing and promoting various working papers in their respective committees. At this point in the conference, every committee has created a number of working papers on designated issues, and several committees have entered voting bloc and passed resolutions. COPUOS, the Outer Space committee, for example, passed a resolution early this morning.

In General Assembly, delegates continued to address the issue of Security Council reform. Heidelberg students representing China, Argentina, and Turkey all worked very hard to encourage fellow delegates to support the resolution that all three sponsored. Unfortunately, their resolution did not pass, but neither did a competing working paper, so Heidelberg delegates deemed the situation a small victory.

Dr. O'Reilly is very proud of the Heidelberg delegation this year! "Conference is going very well," he said. "I've been very impressed with each Heidelberg delegation's commitment, hard work, and cohesion. Berg delegates are experiencing the usual Model UN emotions-- excitement, and frustration-- while trying to advance or protect their country's various interests."

Saturday evening, the Heidelberg delegation traveled to Pier 39 together for the team's annual dinner at Wipeout. This tradition allows for Berg students to connect with Heidelberg alum living in the California area, who meet up with the group every year. Students utilized the BART (San Francisco's metro) to get into town, and then enjoyed a scenic walk on the way to the Pier that includes getting to see Chinatown! On the way back to the hotel, one of the highlights of the evening for many Heidelberg students was getting to ride on San Fran's famous trolley system to get back to the BART. In addition, before returning to the hotel, Dr. O'Reilly and the group got milkshakes at In-N-Out Burger, which is always a Heidelberg favorite.

Tomorrow is the last day of conference to complete discussions and committee work, which means that delegates still have much work to do here at MUNFW! Many Heidelberg delegates have worked to introduce and support working papers that they are still quite hopeful will pass in voting bloc, so tomorrow will be a very important day for everyone!


Day 3

Heidelberg has conquered the longest day of the conference! After 12 hours of intense speeches, debate, and caucusing, day 2 of MUNFW has come to a close.

China head delegate Zach Pesicek began the day presiding over the UN Security Council. The body chose to have the General Assembly address the issue of Crimea, while moving on to discuss the conflict in the Central African Republic. A press release was drafted and released in the conference newspaper.

In IAEA, Chinese delegates Deidre McVay and Adam Oulton collaborated on a working paper that regulates illicit nuclear trafficking while respecting state sovereignty.

In General Assembly, China, Argentina, and Turkey delegates from Heidelberg were able to work with other United for Consensus members to submit a working paper on the issue of Security Council reform. AJ, Sheldon, Summer, and Emily are hopeful that their resolution will pass. It would allow for the expansion of the Security Council, with regional representation for all non-permanent member states. For now, GA delegates are working to address the issue of HIV/AIDS, while preparing to discuss the Crimean debate tomorrow.

This year, Dylan Lohr and Erin Gorrell are Dr. O'Reilly's MUNFW assistants. Dylan described their responsibilities to include planning group fundraisers, designing the delegation t-shirt, and helping Dr. O'Reilly with conference details. Dylan and Erin circulate around to the different committees during conference, answering questions that members of the Heidelberg delegation might have. Dylan also said, "I feel that Heidelberg is being well represented by our delegation. They are not afraid to ask questions and always play in character. The conference is a great way for students to get out of their shell and talk to people they otherwise would not have talked to." The Heidelberg delegation appreciates Erin and Dylan's hard work!


Heidelberg students in San Francisco


Day 2

Model UN Far West is officially underway!

Today started off with members of the Heidelberg delegation doing some sightseeing! Dr. O'Reilly took a group of students to meet up with Heidelberg graduate Samantha Wairimu at Berkeley Law. Dr. Berger and Ashlyn traveled with another group to Golden Gate Park to explore the bridge area. A few students visited Chinatown, while others stayed at the hotel to relax by the pool! It was a wonderful morning!

Opening ceremony began at 5:15 pm. The Arizona State University secretariat introduced themselves, and the Permanent Representative to the United Nations for the Republic of Moldova provided the key note address. Following dinner, committee sessions began!

Heidelberg students had a successful first night in committee! In United Nations Developmental Program, freshman Hannah Taulbee gave a great speech about Chinese policies on post-2015 development goals. General Assembly delegates Emily Jones, AJ Lacefield, Sheldon Miller, and Summer Hunter-Kysor successfully congregated the United for Consensus group during unmoderated caucus to address UN Security Council

 reform. Many other Heidelberg delegates, like Chinese DPR Colin Higgins pictured below, raised insightful P-23 comments and P-25 points of inquiry in their respective committees as well. 

Jordan Busch, a first-time participant representing China in First Committee, says, "MUNFW is a great learning experience for someone like me who is a non-political science major. I can't wait to see what the conference has in store, and I am already looking forward to returning next year!"

Tomorrow is the long day of conference, with approximately 12 hours of committee session, so there should be much to report! Check out the Heidelberg

 Model United Nations Facebook page for real-time updates and many more photos.

Baseball field

Day 1 

The Heidelberg Model United Nations Far West delegation has officially arrived in San Francisco! The team of 36 students, along with Dr. Marc O'Reilly, Dr. Amy Berger, and Resident Coordinator Ashlyn Cameron, departed from Heidelberg at 4:30 am Wednesday morning, following a traditional 2:00 am meal at Denny's in Tiffin. The MUNFW participants departed from Detroit, with a direct flight to San Francisco on a brand new airplane!

Upon arrival in San Francisco on Wednesday morning at 11:00 am (West Coast time), the delegation went to lunch at local restaurants like the Elephant Bar and El Torrito, which look right out onto San Francisco Bay. In the early evening, several students joined Dr. O'Reilly and Ashlyn for a San Francisco Giants baseball game! Although Giants lost 7-3, seeing beautiful AT&T Park was a unique experience for everyone! It was chilly in the later innings, Heidelberg students at giants baseball game some legendary San Francisco fog rolled in, and flocks of seagulls visited the stadium. Still, attending the game was a great way to see a new part of the city. And we got free bobble heads!

The Model UN Far West conference will commence Thursday at 5:15 pm with an opening ceremony. Heidelberg will be representing China, Argentina, and Turkey this year. Throughout the week, other blog posts will provide updates on the conference and highlight different students' experiences. As for today, by arriving a day early, Heidelberg students had additional time to explore the city and experience San Francisco outside of the conference setting.