Model UN attends first-ever virtual HAMUN conference


Photo provided by Roshni Kumar

Senior Roshni Kumar competes in her crisis committee as Robespierre during the French Revolution.

Zaid Ali, Reporter

Four Bellaire Model United Nations club members competed at the first-ever virtual Houston Area Model United Nations Conference Jan. 21-22. The team competed in crisis committees, which are typically reserved for more advanced delegates, for the first time,

The competing team included senior Roshni Kumar, sophomore Brandy Xie, sophomore Soleyana Tekalg and freshman Chandi Kumar.

“My committee was a crisis committee, which focuses on one specific event and creates a storyline through “action orders” from the committee and chairs,” Kumar said. “It was also a joint committee of the monarchs and revolutionaries in the French Revolution, and I played Marquis de Lafayette on the monarch’s side.” 

MUN serves as a simulation for participants to debate and negotiate on the world’s most pressing issues as representatives of different countries. MUN also offers historical time periods for delegates to act out, as Kumar did in this year’s conference. 

“I like how Model UN exposes students to global issues and collaborative problem solving,” Kumar said. “HAMUN has consistently been my favorite conference because the committees all cover really interesting topics and have great conversations.”

Unlike past years, HAMUN couldn’t hold its in-person conference at the University of Houston. Instead, they held their first ever virtual conference, where delegates collaborated over Zoom and Discord.

“I think the virtual conference went smoothly and without too many technology issues,” Kumar said. “I missed being able to bond with committee members and running satirical debates during breaks. I did actually like the virtual communication system with committee members more than the in-person since it was more efficient and did not involve running around a giant room in heels with a sticky note.”

Xie enjoyed this year’s HAMUN experience and looks forward to returning in future years.

“I was a part of the Crisis Committee for the Chinese Nationalist Party during the Chinese Civil War,” Xie said. “I found it engaging because it was quick-paced and we were challenged to find quick solutions for problems. It was also fun because it was like we were transported through a time machine to this time of turmoil, which my ancestors lived through.”

Xie considers MUN an engaging activity because of the different ideas she has been able to explore at conferences such as HAMUN. 

“What I like most about MUN is you get to step into someone else’s shoes and explore other perspectives,” Xie said. “I’m able to learn more about the world and am challenged to find solutions to real-life problems. At HAMUN, I liked the delegates in our committee because they were very collaborative and were respectful of each other’s ideas.”

The HAMUN conference, one of Houston’s oldest Model UN competitions, was not the only conference that Bellaire’s team attended virtually. Since the beginning of this school year, the MUN club has met online for all of their meetings and hosted their own mock virtual conference. Despite initial obstacles, MUN meetings eventually became successful as the year progressed. 

“MUN has been a bit more challenging this year, specifically with helping delegates prepare for their conferences and recruiting new people to compete,” Kumar said. “An upside though, has been that a lot of conferences have become more accessible since we no longer need to travel or miss a lot of school time to attend them.”

If interested in becoming involved in the MUN club, contact Roshni Kumar at [email protected] or check out the club’s instagram @munbellaire.