Underclassmen Lead Model UN to Awards in Fall Season
Building upon their successes last spring, CMC's Model UN team placed very well in back-to-back competitions this fall. The club earned the best large delegation award at the University of Santa Barbara Intercollegiate Model United Nations competition hosted November 16-18. According to Daniel Shane '13, the club's president, CMC took home the same award from the competition last year.
In addition to the team award, individual awards went to 14 of the 22 CMC delegates in Santa Barbara, including Zachariah Oquenda '16, Manav Kohli '16, Sumaer Sandhu '16, Tess Hubbeling '15, and Aseem Chipalkatti '15, who won Best Delegate awards.
The weekend before, CMC Model UN attended the University of Pennsylvania Model UN Conference (UPMUNC), considered to be a top competition. Although CMC did not win a team award in Pennsylvania, 10 of the 16 CMC delegates sent were recognized for noteworthy public speaking and diplomacy skills. Three CMC students received a Best Delegate award at UPMUNC, including Chipalkatti, Kanupriya Rungta '14, and Dante Toppo '15.
"We're eyeing the top spot next year," said Shane.
Club leadership emphasized that the team this fall was heavily populated by younger students: "It continually boggles my mind that the über majority of our team are underclassmen. They are going against people who have done this since middle school, write theses on the topics they are debating, and CMCers are so much more than holding their own: they are killing it every time," Shane told the Forum.
Neil Malani, a club board member, said he was confident that a stellar group of underclassmen would boost the team's performance in the spring. "While our freshmen are unseasoned, their victories [in Santa Barbara] show that they are extremely talented, and will be ready to take even more gavels this spring. Of course, you can't discount the role of experience either – unlike last year, a significant portion of the team is comprised of returning members."
Club Vice-President Kanupriya Rungta expressed pride in the team's accomplishments so far. “I am so unbelievably proud of CMCMUN and all of the work everyone put into UPMUNC and Santa Barbara," she told the Forum. "Across the board you would see our students waking up early to set up meetings with other delegates – almost all of them were doing this, going completely above and beyond what is expected of a Model UN delegate."
Rungta, Malani and Shane expressed excitement for the spring season. They agreed their toughest competition would include Harvard, Yale, Florida International, and West Point at competitions at Berkley and UCLA.
"One of our goals is to break into the top 5 nationally. We are 7th right now," said Shane.