2016 is the 36th annual Virginia Model United Nations Conference. VAMUN incorporates schools from all over the state to compete against one another for awards such as Verbal Commendation (for the delegate who participated the most in debate), Honorable Mention, Outstanding Delegate, and Best Delegate (Best Delegate is the highest award, and comes with a gavel provided by the committee). There are also awards for the school collectively, such as the Best School of Delegates.
Many students at Henrico High School participated in the conference, including many first-timers, “It’s a new experience. I’m just trying to reach outside of my comfort zone,” says Sophomore Kaustav Rajesh.
“We worked hard. It was getting harder and harder to pass directives. The atmosphere of my community was becoming even more competitive,” says Sophomore Karthik Nair who has three years’ experience. Many delegates such as Nair proved to be incredibly tenacious, so much so that two HHS delegates even fell ill.
As testimonies to their toils, some earned prestigious awards. These special delegates are Juniors Angela Vaughn, Kymari Taylor, Saranya Kasinathuni and Shaila Lothe. Sophomores Avani Venkatesh and Arjun Nekkanti also received recognition.
“They should be an inspiration for all of us,” says Mr. Schwieder, math teacher and sponsor of the Henrico High School Model UN Club. “The Henrico HS Model UN delegation once again displayed the diplomacy, intelligence, and maturity which has become their hallmark. I am always incredibly proud to be associated with such a fine group of people. It gives me great hope for the future that delegations such as ours are learning how to solve significant problems through negotiation rather than confrontation.”
Throughout the conference, many delegates thanked Mr. Schwieder again and again for all he has done for them by sponsoring the trip, sponsoring the club, and holding everyone together as one, unified entity.
“We wouldn’t have done it without him” Nair commented.
Overall, participants had a fun and rewarding, yet tiring, experience. They look forward to conferences in the near future.
“We hope, my friends and I, that next time we come back with better and stronger strategies. I want every single delegate to walk away with an award the next conference. I believe that with the effort shown so far, we’ll be able to achieve this” Rajesh said.