MHS Model UN Reports Back After MADMUN


Leigh Azkoul

Middleton High School Model United Nations poses after crushing the Madison Model United Nations conference. What do they have in store for future conferences?

Sarah Larsen

Middleton High School’s (MHS) Model United Nations (UN) club has a lot to report on after their 2022 Madison Model United Nations (MADMUN) conference that took place on Dec. 10, 2022, at Monona Grove High School.

Model UN is an organization where students participate in simulations of UN summits. They represent an assigned country to discuss and debate real-world issues and learn about international relations and foreign policy. Middleton Model UN takes part in numerous competitions throughout the year. 

Before the conference, there was much to do. First, board members in Model UN worked really hard to prepare for success at MADMUN. Model UN Board member Monroe Durand said the board members had been preparing since June for a good conference. Another board member, Henry Dickinson, expressed a similar sentiment. 

“I’ve been working to help prepare for MADMUN the entire summer,” Dickinson said. 

Other board members, including Livia Machado, Claudia VanBendegom and Mason Bauer, also helped prepare for the highly anticipated MADMUN conference, as did MHS Model UN member Shradha Godishala.

As fun a MADMUN is, it requires hard work and dedication from its members.

“The topics were quite narrow, so it was hard preparing,” said Piper Hefty, a returning sophomore in Model UN. After much preparation, Middleton’s team had fun and found great success during the conference. 

“MADMUN is a really good experience for putting your feet in the water and seeing if you like a general conference experience,” Dima Llanos said. Llanos is an outstanding member who won an honorable mention in an advanced “Miss Universe Pageant” simulation. 

Another surprisingly enjoyable element of the conference was the food, especially the empanadas, which are a MADMUN tradition. New members rejoiced over the tradition and returners had been looking forward to them all year. 

“To be quite honest, I went back for the empanadas,” Piper Hefty said. Some enjoyed the empanadas more than their awards. 

“I like the food, although I did win an award!” Arya Chodhury, a sophomore, said. 

The students also enjoyed their Fun Model UN (FUNMUN) simulations, in which they discussed unrelated, fun topics at the end of their formal simulations. 

“I was voted most likely to fall asleep in a simulation,” said Sam Schoenke, a sophomore. “The people in the chair positions were really cool; they talked about the World Cup.”

From formal diplomacy to FUNMUN soccer conversations, Middleton’s participants of MADMUN, new and experienced, had a great time at the conference and saw their preparation come to fruition. Many members were formally recognized for their outstanding work in a slew of events. Jack Asmus expressed that he would go next year if he weren’t a senior.

Middleton’s Model UN club has more exciting conferences in the near future: National High School Model United Nations (NHSMUN) in New York City from March 9 to March 13, 2022, and Northwestern University Model United Nations (NUMUN) at Northwestern University from April 13 to April 16, 2022. 

As the first conference of the year, MADMUN had several UN Committees that students were assigned to based on their level of experience.

Students represented different countries and different positions according to their simulation. They are assigned two topics to discuss. Here is some background on the simulations, which discussed issues within what their committee handles based off of this year’s theme, corruption.

MHS Students Henry Dickinson and Monroe Durand ran the European Union Council, which secures economic cooperation and democratization in Europe. In this simulation, students looked at the decline of democracy and response to COVID-19. Something that surprised MHS student Truman McRay was that Canada was in the European Union Simulation.

This was one of the five beginner simulations, other simulations in the beginner level included:

MADMUN participants with experience participated in intermediate simulations, many moving up from beginner. 

“I’ve moved up since last year and it was quite different,” Piper Hefty said. 

Intermediate simulations included:

  • The United Nations Development Programme
  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization Council simulation.

Another intermediate simulation was run by three MHS Students, Livia Machado, Claudia VanBendegom and Shradha Godhishala, and that was the UN Human Rights Council. The UN Human Rights Council encourages and defends human rights globally. They focused on the Syrian Refugee Crisis and Ethiopia’s Tigray Refugee Crisis.

The advanced simulations for those with much experience included a 1930’s mafia simulation, a Miss Universe simulation and a US Senate simulation. 

The Miss Universe simulation, which is an international beauty pageant, discussed the definition of beauty within the pageant, and the fate of the Miss Universe pageant. A student from that simulation mentioned earlier, Deema Llanos, expressed that a crisis committee such as something like this is always fun.

Another MHS student, Mason Bauer, helped run the US Senate simulation, where participants discussed healthcare and gas prices. Truman McRay shared that he played the role of Utah senator Mitt Romney in this simulation and had much fun with it.

From beginner to advanced, the simulations seemed to all be a great success. Some participants passed working papers, which shared ideas about solutions to an issue, and others enjoyed the camaraderie and made new friends from other schools. Many were pleased with the outcome. 

“I thought it would be a very tense atmosphere and I found that it wasn’t really like that,” Hannah Lee, a new member, said. “It was pretty chill and free.” Lee won an award for best position paper, which is a paper that delegates are asked to submit regarding their position as a member state or observer on a set of topics. The topics they write their position on is defined in their committee background guide. Other members shared excitement for their successes at the conference, such as Truman McRay, who won an award for best delegate, and Piper Hefty, who passed two working papers.

MADMUN 2022 was a thrill and had many participants awaiting MADMUN 2023 with excitement feeling ready for new challenges.