Stanford University was the site of model diplomacy this past weekend as students from around the country convened for the 27th Stanford Model United Nations Conference (SMUNC). Among those aspiring diplomats were 14 San Domenico students who engaged with their peers on current issues, such as “Building Gender-Equitable Cities,” “Combating Mis/Disinformation for the 2024 Presidential Election,” “The Usage of AI in Warfare,” as well as historical simulations like Bloody Sunday in Ireland. For half of our delegates, this was their first conference. But despite their greenness, they jumped in and made floor speeches, helped write resolutions, and negotiated with their peers from other schools.
Our delegation is extremely proud of Aarya C. ’24 who was awarded “Outstanding Delegate” in her historical committee on The Battle of Okinawa, where she played the role of US Secretary of Labor. She described that the goal of the committee was to “understand the diplomacy and strategy that went into planning the Battle and to explore how things could have gone differently to avoid the tragedy that occurred during the war.” As thrilled as Aarya was to receive this honor, for her, the real highlight of the conference was “making friends from all over the United States - Nebraska, Boston, Texas and other places within California as well!”
Due to a last minute change, Demyd K. S. ’27 joined the team less than 24 hours before departure. As a Ukrainian boarding student, he had the ironic task of representing Russia on the Disarmament and International Security Committee as they debated the “Status of Private Military Contractors.” Despite not even knowing exactly what MUN was on Thursday, by Sunday he was a convert and is now eagerly looking forward to the Berkeley MUN conference in the spring.
Along with the research and writing of directives, there were also moments of levity: Sierra N. ’25 described how the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) ended the weekend with karaoke and that it was “hilarious to see the most serious delegates sing their hearts out to Taylor Swift songs.”
Social Studies teachers Ken High and James Tyvand, who chaperoned the trip, appreciated the hard work, willingness to engage with complex global challenges, and enthusiasm that all of our students brought to the event.
Congratulations to all our participants:
Amarah A. ’24, Ian B. ’27, Aarya C. ’24, Bosson C. ’25, Tina C. ’27, Zooey C. ’26, Natan C. ’27, Nora H. ’24, Demid K. S. ’27, Max L. ’25, Sierra N. ’25, Jeevan R. ’27, Fernanda P. ’26, Grace W. ’26