JCWA Wins Glory at University of Virginia Conference
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The BHS Junior Council of World Affairs (JCWA) had an impressive performance at the University of Virginia’s Model United Nations Conference (VAMUN) held at the University of Virginia Nov. 2-4.
Eighteen of the twenty-six students on the team placed. Three members won best delegate and were given gavels. Five won outstanding delegate, and ten kids won honorable mention.
“VAMUN is all about creating global awareness among high school students,” explained JCWA President Maddie Adelman.
At Model United Nations conferences such as VAMUN, team members are given a country or government organization to represent. A topic is set by the moderator.
VAMUN is one of the three conferences Beachwood participates in throughout the year. The other two are NAIMUN held in Georgetown, Washington, DC and NUMUN, held at Northwestern University.
Outstanding delegate Danny Sheridan explained, “[For a given topic, our team] had to… decide in what direction the organization should move forward.”
There were fifteen possible committees students could choose from. One such committee was a crisis committee. “[This committee had] no specific topics, and we were essentially dropped into a scenario and allowed to take control of the situation,” said senior Graham Atherton, who won best delegate for his participation in that committee.
“At Virginia, the committee of Palestine got their hands on a nuclear bomb, which impacted the decisions of Israel, another committee at the conference,” said Sheridan.
Beachwood participated in ten of the committees, such as Charity Water, which is a charity that provides clean water for countries around the world; the Chinese Ministry of State Security, the Palestine Liberation Organization and the boundaries of South Sudan.
“It was an awesome performance,” said English teacher and JCWA adviser Evan Luzar, “…by any standard, very impressive.”
“A lot of kids who had never [participated in a conference] before won, which was amazing considering this was the first time I won, and it was my fourth conference,” said sophomore Caroline Stern, who won best delegate.
Stern and Luzar mentioned that some schools did not participate due to Hurricane Sandy.
Atherton said, “Beachwood produced the most impressive performance I’ve seen…I’ve never seen the team succeed on such a monumental scale before. It was inspiring.”
The team is now getting ready for the North American Invitational Model United Nations, or NAIMUN. The conference will be held February 14-17. It will be held at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. This is the biggest conference, hosting 4,000 domestic and international students.
Stern expressed that though “[NAIMUN] is a lot bigger, I know we will do well because we have a lot of really great kids in the club.”
Though the current JCWA team is as Atherton described, “more committed and engaged than I’ve seen in the past.” He explained that Beachwood will have to, “maintain if not exceed the amount of work exhibited in the preparation for the last conference.”
“Be on the lookout for more information come January for signups,” said Adelman.