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The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

Column: Prosper students attend 1st State Model UN Competition

Writer reflects back on conference, recognizes accomplishments
Junior+Anisha+Mandem%2C+far+right%2C+stands+with+the+rest+of+her+team+in+front+of+the+McNair+Hall%2C+the+Rice+University+business+building.+The+Rice+MUN+competition+took+place+from+Friday%2C+March+22+to+Sunday%2C+March+24.+More+than+300+delegates+participated+in+the+conference%2C+which+took+place+on+the+Rice+University+Campus+in+Houston.+%0A%0AIn+order+from+left+to+right%2C+these+students+participated%3A+junior+Oluwafikayomi+Ogunnoiki%2C+junior+Everlyn+Omandi%2C+junior+Katya+Kondragunta%2C+sophomore+Shivani+Sathish%2C+sophomore+Trisha+Panicker+and+junior+Anisha+Mandem.+
Courtesy of Anisha Mandem
Junior Anisha Mandem, far right, stands with the rest of her team in front of the McNair Hall, the Rice University business building. The Rice MUN competition took place from Friday, March 22 to Sunday, March 24. More than 300 delegates participated in the conference, which took place on the Rice University Campus in Houston. In order from left to right, these students participated: junior Oluwafikayomi Ogunnoiki, junior Everlyn Omandi, junior Katya Kondragunta, sophomore Shivani Sathish, sophomore Trisha Panicker and junior Anisha Mandem.

“Delegate of the United States, you’ve been recognized.”

The United Nations, an organization that aims to maintain world peace and prevent international conflicts, was founded shortly after World War II, after the League of Nations failed to serve its initial purpose. Following that transition, Model League of Nations transitioned to Model United Nations to match the state of international diplomacy. Model UN is a student-led organization that models the diplomatic structure of the actual UN. Students are able to learn essential life skills such as public speaking, negotiation, leadership, and communication skills. Model UN was initially started by college students at Oxford University in 1921, although it has since expanded to include conferences for high school and even middle school students.

Junior Anisha Mandem (top right) stands with the rest of her team – junior Oluwafikayomi Ogunnoiki (top left), junior Everlyn Omandi (top center left), junior Katya Kondragunta (top center right), sophomore Trisha Panicker (bottom left) and sophomore Shivani Sathish (bottom right). The eight delegates traveled to the Rice University Campus in Houston, Texas.

 

Last month, I, along with the rest of the Prosper High School Model UN team got the opportunity to attend Rice MUN, an annual Model UN conference hosted at the state level at Rice University in Houston. With over 300 students attending from 15–20 different schools, it was amazing to see, and meet so many people from all across Texas. There were multiple committees at the conference such as ECOFIN (economics and finance), SPECPOL (special political), WHO (World Health Organization), and Crisis Committee (immediate international conflicts). My team members and I spent three days engaged in debating, writing drafts, and presenting resolutions. Rice MUN was the first time I participated in a Crisis Committee, the fast-paced style of debate, and the push to make immediate decisions – much like the actual UN during times of world conflict – was something I had never seen in Model UN before.

I was initially intimidated by the number of people in my conference room and their confidence in approaching each topic presented. However, after getting to know the other students better and sharing my ideas, we were able to collaborate in creating various unique solutions. Still, as I was watching the other delegates, it felt like I wasn’t contributing or saying enough. When the awards ceremony came, I didn’t have much expectations for anything. I was even somewhat distracted by what we were having for lunch after, or my AP Chemistry assignments that were due the following week. I was happy with the experience I gained, the people I met, and was looking forward to the next competition already. When my name was called, I didn’t even register it until my teammates started clapping. I had gotten recognized as one of the top delegates out of the 60 other people in my committee. Although it wasn’t ‘best delegate,’ I was still surprised.

The Rice MUN awards ceremony took place on Sunday, March 24 at 11 a.m. Mandem represented Paul Getty in the Space Race Crisis Committee. Rice MUN is one of the largest conferences hosted in Texas.

As I move forward and compete in more Model UN competitions in the future, I know that maintaining confidence in my ideas and opinions is key to standing out – and even winning.

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About the Contributor
Anisha Mandem
Anisha Mandem, Assistant Editor
Anisha is a junior, and this is her third year on ENO. She is currently an Assistant Editor and the Editorial Section Editor. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, she moved to Texas at the end of 2021 and works for the newspaper as a writer and a videographer. She is also the founder and president of the non-profit NeuroNext Foundation, the PHS Model UN team, and is a part of SNHS. Outside of school, she enjoys playing the piano, running, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
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