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WHHS delegates dominate at Harvard

Joseph+Gerth+leads+the+students+on+a+historical+walking+tour+of+Boston%2C+from+the+hotel%2C+through+Boston+Commons%2C+to+Quincy+Market.+%E2%80%9CWe+spend+our+free+time+really+productively+on+Friday+morning+by+going+on+the+tour+led+by+Mr.+Joe+Gerth%E2%80%A6+you+all+were+able+to+get+out+for+some+fresh+air+and+learn+something+new%2C%E2%80%9D+Bramlage+said.
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WHHS delegates dominate at Harvard

Joseph Gerth leads the students on a historical walking tour of Boston, from the hotel, through Boston Commons, to Quincy Market. “We spend our free time really productively on Friday morning by going on the tour led by Mr. Joe Gerth… you all were able to get out for some fresh air and learn something new,” Bramlage said.

Joseph Gerth leads the students on a historical walking tour of Boston, from the hotel, through Boston Commons, to Quincy Market. “We spend our free time really productively on Friday morning by going on the tour led by Mr. Joe Gerth… you all were able to get out for some fresh air and learn something new,” Bramlage said.

Abby Jay

Joseph Gerth leads the students on a historical walking tour of Boston, from the hotel, through Boston Commons, to Quincy Market. “We spend our free time really productively on Friday morning by going on the tour led by Mr. Joe Gerth… you all were able to get out for some fresh air and learn something new,” Bramlage said.

Abby Jay

Abby Jay

Joseph Gerth leads the students on a historical walking tour of Boston, from the hotel, through Boston Commons, to Quincy Market. “We spend our free time really productively on Friday morning by going on the tour led by Mr. Joe Gerth… you all were able to get out for some fresh air and learn something new,” Bramlage said.

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On Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, 19 WHHS students and two teachers awoke at four a.m. in order to catch a flight to Boston, Mass. at CVG airport. These students were on their way to the Harvard Model United Nations (HMUN), one of the largest and most prestigious Model United Nations conferences in the world. The conference hosts over 3,300 high school students, from over 50 countries, annually.

At the Sheraton Boston Hotel, the students would spend the next four days working from sun up until sun down to find and write the most comprehensive solution to a given world problem.

Dhruv Rungta, ‘20, said, “Harvard Model United Nations was honestly one of the greatest experiences so far in my life.”

WHHS has been attending the Harvard Model United Nations conference for over 40 years, but only recently has it become a true contender for awards. The team took home a total of four awards from the 2019 HMUN conference, the most WHHS has ever received at the conference.

The WHHS Model UN club participates in three conferences per year, in which students from different schools work with one another in an attempt to solve problems that the real United Nations might be faced with, such as the Syrian refugee crisis or the 2009 global financial crisis, while representing the interests of an assigned country.

“You’re simulating what it would actually be like to be a delegate to a committee,” WHHS Model UN club advisor Samantha Bramlage said.
The club attends two statewide conferences in Ohio, one hosted at the University of Dayton and the other at Miami University, as well as one international conference: Harvard Model United Nations.

“HMUN… was really tiring, but much more interactive and fun,” Annie Xia, ‘21, said.

Only a certain number of students are taken on the HMUN trip, so the WHHS club advisors, Bramlage and Joseph Gerth, require hopeful participants to submit an anonymous written assignment. In this essay, students are supposed to outline the beliefs and problems of the assigned country, and then Gerth and Bramlage choose the best submissions.

A total of 19 students, from the sophomore through senior classes, represented WHHS at HMUN in January 2019. Each student represented a country or person in their own committee, which focused on a specific topic, with the exception of a few dual-delegation committees, in which one country would be represented by two students.

These students represent WHHS as a school and as a community at HMUN, so each student was expected to act respectfully and work hard, both in and outside of committee. “Everybody was very strong in what they did, so I was very impressed and happy with them,” Gerth said.

The conference itself can be daunting, as it is made up of the top students and schools from around the globe, with over 30 different committees. Within the WHHS community, the conference is described in a variety of ways: as “the Olympics of Model UN” by Gerth, “a total meeting of the minds…the ultimate opportunity to collaborate with people who are from different countries” by Bramlage and as “a conference where the level of competition knows no bounds” by Rungta.

Although it is a very demanding conference, students come out the other side with new skills and experience under their belt. “HMUN was my favorite conference so far. Getting to work with so many different people and gaining more experience in public speaking and resolution writing was really engaging,” Xia said.

WHHS won a total of four awards during the four-day conference: SENIOR Rithu Rajagopala won Best Delegate for her work as Croatia in the International Justice Committee, SENIOR Yajat Dhawan won Best Delegate for his work as W.P.A. Soundarapandian Nadar in the committee on the Future of Dravida Nadu, Rungta won Outstanding Delegate for his work as Ahmed Patel in the Indian Parliament and Gibson O’Malley Kirsch, ‘19, won Honorable Mention for his work as the New York Times in the Press Corps. Dhawan, who has gone to HMUN three times, said “as soon as the (Harvard) conference is over, it’s like a countdown until the next Harvard MUN comes around.”

Disclaimer: Abigail Jay, ‘21, is a member of The Chatterbox staff as well as a Model UN participant.

About the Writer
Abby Jay, News & Features Writer

In her first year as a Chatterbox staff member, sophomore Abby Jay is excited to work as a staff writer.  She hopes to gain valuable experience as a journalist.

Jay...

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