The Mount Madonna School (MMS) Model United Nations (MUN) Club participated in its first meet of the 2012-2013 school year November 9-11 at Stanford University. The current student group is the largest and most participatory delegation MMS has had yet, with fifteen high school students, anchored by senior club mentor Kavi Duvvoori.
“This was my fifth and final year in MUN,” notes Duvvoori. “I co-founded the club when I was in eighth grade with my friend Zach. I have managed it since then, with some parent support. I have represented all manner of countries and characters, with specialization in dictators and genocidal regimes, and was able to bring this trend to its culmination this year.
“The improvisational, acting aspect of MUN is something I’ve always enjoyed, as it lends the opportunity to try to understand what it’s like to be someone who I am very different from, in situations that I’m unlikely to face. For example, as a member of Stalin’s Politburo, and for a while, head of the KGB, I was able to do this more than ever before: plotting a takeover and the glorious future of the Socialist Republics. I want to be very clear that I am completely against all of these things. However, Model U.N. has given me the chance to try to understand all this strangeness that the world has faced and is facing and to try to understand what it’s like to be someone who creates and lives with these kinds of crises and complex issues.
“I really enjoy both my experiences as a delegate, and the chance to help train others to bring them this opportunity and ‘occasional madness.’ My schoolmates over these five years have discovered that MUN is FUN, something we say often, but it is only at the end that I realize, with a sense of partially nostalgic accomplishment, that for me at least, MUN is DONE.”
Seven of the fifteen students are first-time participants; and by the conference conclusion, were enthusiastic and looking forward to their next assembly.
“I had an amazing adventure back to 310 B.C.E!” comments junior Brianna Heldt. “I had no idea I would get so involved in my committee but by the end of the second day I was literally interpreting the gods for my team. I was so lucky to get assigned to a small committee, I only had ten people on my committee, while others had as many as 30. I walked away from MUN with new friends and exposure to new thought processes. There is something really rewarding about participating with a group of people all interested in learning something new.”
Freshman Sophia Saavedra, represented the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a delegate to the World Health Organization. “My topics were the efforts to reduce child mortality, and chemical risks in food. One of the crises we looked at involved a parasite that causes random violence and rash behavior when it comes in contact with an unknown pesticide in food. This ended up leading to a dramatic zombie attack in my conference! I enjoyed engaging in conversation and creating directives and resolutions with other delegates, and appreciated the formality and creativity of the event.”
“Model U.N. was fun and educational,” adds sophomore Chris Colip. “I especially appreciated when we split up into two different political parties and tried to overthrow one another. The format was interesting. I enjoyed how I embodied the person I represented. The constant debate and the newly introduced crisis kept me on my feet!”
“Some aspects of MUN are a great fit with MMS values,” notes Kavi’s mother, Sumana, club advisor for the past five years. “Such as negotiation and communication to reach consensus, and an interest in finding solutions. We seek out the meets that also inject a dose of fun and fantasy to participate in.This has allowed us a space to explore the topics, experience the formal aspects of the program, learn parliamentary procedure and not get caught in excessive concern over aspects such as awards. All in all, it’s been tremendously fulfilling to see the student enthusiasm build, and I look forward to seeing what direction a new group of students and parents will bring to sustaining a club that has been successfully nurtured to this stage. This year the extended parent support for the logistical end leads me to feel confident that the club has a sound future.”
Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, Media & Public Relations,
Nestled among the redwoods on 355 mountaintop acres, Mount Madonna is a safe and nurturing college-preparatory school that supports students in becoming caring, self-aware and articulate critical thinkers, who are prepared to meet challenges with perseverance, creativity and integrity. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville.