Model UN Takes Third at Michigan XXXIV

By Tyler Ove ’22

Last weekend, February 19-21, the Saint Ignatius Model United Nations (MUN) team attended the University of Michigan’s 34th annual conference, MUNUM XXXIV. This conference has been a staple of the Wildcats’ spring schedule for years, with the exception of 2020. Surely Michigan could not forget Saint Ignatius’ presence from years past; Saint Ignatius has long strived to be a luminary of peace, cleverness, cooperation, strength, and diplomacy in national MUN competitions. Although the Wolverines bested the Buckeyes in basketball the same weekend, MUN was far less disappointing. The Wildcats dominated competition from all over the country, though many of the teams hailed from the Midwest. Finishing third overall in terms of awards, Saint Ignatius brought home another podium finish back to Ohio City, the MUNUM XXXIV standings as below:

    1. West Windsor (Plainsboro, NJ)                                  MUNUM XXXII (2018)
    2. Northville (Northville, MI)
    3. Saint Ignatius (Cleveland, OH)
    4. Calabasas (Calabasas, CA)
    5. Columbia (Brooklyn, MI)
    6. Greenhills (Ann Arbor, MI)
    7. Forest Hills Central (Grand Rapids, MI)
    8. Latin (Chicago, IL)
    9. Dexter (Dexter, MI)
    10. Grand Haven (Grand Haven, MI)
    11. Kalamazoo (Kalamazoo, MI)
    12. St. John (Toledo, OH)
    13. Saginaw (Saginaw, MI)
    14. Townsend (Queens, NY)
    15. Forest Hills Northern (Grand Rapids, MI)
    16. Novi (Novi, MI)
    17. Seaholm (Birmingham, MI)
    18. Washtenaw (Ann Arbor, MI)
    19. Bloomfield Hills (Bloomfield Hills, MI)
    20. Skyline (Ann Arbor, MI)
    21. Owosso (Owosso, MI)
    22. Canyon Crest (San Diego, CA)
    23. Saline (Saline, MI)

 

Committee topics were expansive, only a few listed: hindering smugglers and falsified 

medicine trading in the UNODC, stabilizing Japan’s 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in the JRA, and flourishing within the political depths of China’s Tang Dynasty. Through these intricate and ambiguous issues, the Wildcats achieved a total of 9 individual awards from 30 total delegates, summing towards their 3rd straight podium finish in the 2020-21 season. The awards winners are listed below hierarchically (for all awards see https://www.munum.org/conference-handbook-1):

 

Best Delegate

Brendan Oliss ‘21 – United Nations Office On Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

 

Outstanding Delegate

Tyler Ove ‘22 – Japanese Reconstruction Agency 2011 (JRA)

Evan Johnston ‘22 – South American Independence Movement

 

Honorable Mention

Ferenc Somogyi ‘21 – War of 1812: Canadian Cabinet

Fitz Lokiec ‘24 – Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC)

 

Verbal Commendation

Kenny Li ‘21 – African National Congress (NECANC)

Braeden Pentz ‘22 – United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS)

Rithvik Ayyagari ‘22 – Council of the Tang Dynasty

Tyler Craciun ‘24 – World Trade Organization (WTO)

 

Sohan Shah ’22, Sean Poland ’21, and Brendan Oliss ’21 working together to prevent drug trafficking in the UNODC

For his first-ever award, Evan Johnston ‘22 hurdled onto the scene with a game-changing Outstanding Delegate, a second-place award for all those unaware. This saved the Wildcats from a possible 5th or 6th place finish. Using sneaky, undetected, and underwhelming tactics, he went unrecognized by his competitors in the Committee of South American Independence until it was too late: “While the rest of the delegates did very well, I think I maximized the opportunities specific to crisis committees. I was able to obtain information, assess situations quickly, use my knowledge of the history of the time period, and create good working relationships with other people. Ultimately, strategic thinking and the element of surprise worked to my advantage.” While this will be his last regular-season conference of the year, he may be selected for the annual University of Chicago conference, in the event that Saint Ignatius attends. Either way, he is excited for what the next year may hold: “Although I really enjoyed this last virtual conference, I am looking forward to in-person conferences with filled rosters next year. I think we have a really strong team this year, and I am excited to work with the new guys and some old friends next year.”

The Diplocats, concerned with a possible down-year due to COVID’s effects on extracurricular participation, managed to stay upright through February. Next season, the team looks to regain and exceed the usual roster number of 45 delegates, returning to college campus field trips rather than the library. Still, do not assume the Diplocats are satisfied with bronze; gold is sitting idly for the taking at Michigan State. MSUMUN XX remains the Diplocats’ final regular-season test from March 26-28, before looking ahead to 2021 recruiting. For the time being, the team will continue meeting Tuesdays at 3:30 in SC102. Go Cats!

See the other 2020-21 conference recaps below: 

Mentor V | http://www.saintignatiuseye.org/2020/11/17/model-un-finishes-first-at-mentor-v/ 

William & Mary XXXIV | http://www.saintignatiuseye.org/2020/11/22/model-un-places-third-at-william-mary-xxxiv/