Over spring break, eight CMC students traveled to Melbourne, Australia to represent the CMC Model United Nations (CMCMUN) team as the Russian Federation at the annual WorldMUN conference. In past years, students in CMCMUN have traveled to Vancouver, Singapore, Taipei, and the Hague to participate in WorldMUN.
While CMCMUN attends conferences across the U.S. throughout the year, “WorldMUN is unique in that there are students from 60 countries in attendance, and the conference is as much about cultural exchange as it is about debating contemporarily relevant issues,” said Kanupriya Rungta ’14, Vice President of CMC’s MUN team. This focus on cultural exchange is also emphasized in the way that exceptional delegates are recognized; according to Neil Malani ’13, another CMCMUN delegate, WorldMUN awards – which are decided “by position, not person” – “are not given out for individual performance, but rather, as the certificates state, for ‘exemplifying the true spirit of diplomacy.'”
This year marked a continued trend of strong performances for CMC at WorldMUN, with five of CMC’s eight delegates receiving awards, including Aseem Chipalkatti ’15, as well as outgoing seniors Daniel Shane ’13 and Neil Malani ’13. Last year, CMC’s team was named “Best Small Delegation” at the conference.
The team’s successes at WorldMUN also strengthen CMC’s reputation abroad. According to Rungta, CMCMUN has begun to “rise in the Model UN ranks” over the past two years. “In 2011, no one really knew about Claremont McKenna,” she continued, “but this year most people from across the globe had heard of us!”
CMCMUN’s accomplishments are also impressive given the level of competition the team faces. At WorldMUN and conferences at UC Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania, CMCMUN competed against MUN teams ranked in the top 10 nationally, including Georgetown, Harvard, and the University of Chicago at the Berkeley conference. “We exceeded expectations by holding our own against some, and outperforming others” of these exceptional competitors, said Malani. At WorldMUN, CMC also had the opportunity to compete with strong teams from outside the U.S., such as MUN Society Belgium and Universidad Catolica Andres Bello, the last two winners of WorldMUN’s “Best Large Delegation” award.
Despite being “pitted against some of the best programs in the country” at the Berkeley conference, Rungta felt “very satisfied with the team effort and the results.” She added, “At Berkeley, 7 of the 10 freshmen and 4 of the 5 sophomores won awards, which is truly remarkable.” These results build on successes by CMCMUN’s underclassmen last semester. “We’re all constantly awed by how well the underclassmen on our team do,” Rungta told the Forum.
“This has been a great year for CMCMUN. We’ve continued to do well at all the conferences we attend,” said Rungta. While CMCMUN’s own travel season will conclude in early April with a conference at UCLA, the team also hopes to promote CMC through outreach to MUN participants still in high school. In the coming weeks, CMCMUN is hosting McKennaMUN, a conference for high school students which will be held on CMC’s campus. According to Rungta, “Having CMC recognized nationally and internationally is our number one goal and we hope McKennaMUN will allow high school students to experience how great CMC is.”