Bringing the rain: Bellarmine students attend San Francisco Model United Nations

The Bellarmine MODEL UN delegation bring the storm.

Ken Brown

The Bellarmine MODEL UN delegation bring the storm.

The weekend before break, Bellarmine students in the Model United Nations club had the opportunity to go on a trip to San Francisco from Dec. 11-12 to attend San Francisco Model United Nations. Many students applied, and 20 were accepted and got their position assignments. After much research, speaking practice, and procrastination, the Bellarmine delegation was ready for San Francisco.

The Bellarmine delegation landed in San Francisco on the night of Thursday, Dec. 9. The next day, the delegation went around San Francisco, touring different parts of the city. The day started at Baker’s Beach, with students walking on the waterfront and taking pictures on an old hillside military fort. The delegation then moved to Fisherman’s Wharf, where, after lunch at In-n-Out, they got to walk along the water, visit shops on Pier 39, see the sea lions sunbathe, ride the carousel, and more. The Bellarmine delegation took a trolley up the hill to Chinatown, where they visited the fortune cookie factory, the Chinatown dragon gate, and got the opportunity to explore the area. Afterwards, the delegation went to dinner at a German restaurant downtown. To end the night, Bellarmine students crammed into a single hotel room, taking part in an elaborate skincare ritual of every delegate putting on face masks.

Delegates arrived at Lowell HighSchool at 8 in the morning, filing into the auditorium for the opening ceremonies. Bellarmine students eagerly waited at the doors, taking the front rows of the auditorium. Delegates impatiently sat through the speeches of all of the dais members, before the conference officially began and delegates split off to their rooms to debate for the next two days.

San Francisco Model United Nations is different from many of the conferences Bellarmine attends, in that most of the positions are double delegate positions. That means that, for each nation being represented, there would be two people representing that nation or figure. This means that committees become even more aggressive, requiring partners to split up debate, negotiation, communication, and resolution writing strategically to stay involved with the ever evolving debate and simultaneously create a detailed, fool-proof resolution. Bellarmine delegates were split up among almost all of the committees at the conference, ranging from the United Nations Security council, who were discussing nuclear arms and sustainable energy, to the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees discussing the gender-based abuse against refugee women, to the 1929 Atlantic City Crime Convention, where delegates represented real mobsters and criminals of the past at a convention to address the end of prohibition and other factors affecting their criminal empires. Debate continued into the late hours of the night, with Bellarmine delegates only getting their well-needed rest, finally, at 11 at night.

The second and final day of the conference began on Sunday. Sunny California began to feel more like the Pacific Northwest, with rain that would continue the rest of the day. The precipitation was a sign for the absolute wash Bellarmine would inflict upon the San Francisco Model United Nations conference. Of the 20 Bellarmine students that attended the conference, over half won awards. Three Bellarmine delegations took Best Delegate, the most prestigious award at any conference, with Mark Manaois and Sam Robinson receiving the ward alongside best research in the UNHCR, Maya Loveland-Hyland and Chloe Mau taking it in UNESCO, and Brynn Manke taking it in the 1929 Atlantic City Crime Convention. In addition, Jordan and Jonas Salazar took Outstanding Delegate in the UNHCR, Roman Thomas and Mary Anna Joyce received Outstanding Delegate in UNESCO, Maria Freimarck and Bernice Samson took honorable mention in the UNSC, yours truly and Liam Solan took Outstanding Delegate in the UNSC, and Mina Nair received Verbal Commendation in the WHO. The final awards issued for the conference were given to the schools whose students did best in the entire conference. Bellarmine, after taking awards in almost every committee they were involved in, received the best delegation award. As Bellarmine left the conference for the airport, the drizzle shifted to a torrential downpour, an inconvenience to many, but a comfort to Bellarmine students. After much hard work on the part of the club advisors, the Bellarmine Model United Nations’ leadership, and the diligent work of Bellarmine delegates, Our school successfully represented the values of Bellarmine, showing the academic abilities of its students.