Member of the Week - Taylor Lewis

November 18, 2015

Tamara Prabhakar

Manhattan Beach, CA

Political Science and Diplomatic History

Favorite IAA memory?
That’s hard! My favorite IAA memories have probably been semi-formals and formals since I’ve been here, so I guess I have four under my belt. They are so much fun and lavish. The four of those collectively have been some of the best IAA memories because they’re very fun huge celebrations for the whole club. My favorite UPMUNC memory was probably yesterday seeing the conference close. Everyone was sobbing. It was very beautiful to see a lot of hard work come to a close with all the people who worked on UPMUNC-the credit goes to them almost entirely. They are what makes the conference happen. It feels good to see it wrap up. We ended on a really strong note.

Position in the IAA?
I was the Secretary General of UPMUNC this year. I’ve been on UPMUNC for my three years in college and I got into IAA as an Assistant Secretary General to UPMUNC, so I’ve been very streamlined to UPMUNC ever since.

How did you get into the IAA?
I did a lot of model UN in high school, so I knew a few people in it and I kind of figured out that it was something I was good at in high school and something that I thought it could find an immediate family to in college as a freshman kind of young and new, and that definitely was the case.

What’s your favorite part about the IAA?
The best aspect is that it is a very large club and within it there are very small communities. You get the opportunity to meet so many people and there are a lot of familiar faces on campus. They always say that you can never walk down locust walk without seeing someone you know. For me, it’s like you can never walk down Locust without seeing someone you know in the IAA. It’s such a big club. In that large aspect, you get to meet a lot of people across different branches and you get to find your little communities within wherever you fall in the IAA. With me, that was obviously UPMUNC. They are my family on campus. More than any other group, they’re my babies.

What did you enjoy the most about UPMUNC?
Probably a few highlights- DelFest is always super fun. They had it in a new club which is District N9NE. All the delegates and Penn staffers come, so we have 1300 people at this super cool club with awesome lighting. It was amazing all around. Another touching more serious aspect that was important to the conference this year was given the tragedies that unfolded this week, it was beautiful to see that because we were at a Model UN conference, with such a focus on diplomacy and fixing world problems, we were there for a united reason. To have 1300 people in a room together collectively joining in a moment of silence in recognition over all that had happened was very powerful.

What was your first UPMUNC like?
They call ASGs in UPMUNC “glorified box lifters”, although I don’t think that’s really the case. I guess being Sec-Gen now I hope that ASGs under me don’t think that’s the case. It was a lot of fun though. Some of my closest friends on campus have been some of my best friends since the very beginning of freshman year because we’ve been on UPMUNC for so long; especially the three other people in the same position level as me on UPMUNC- Alex Sands, Director General, Chief of Staff Mira Naseer and Jialin Zhang, Chief Operating Officer. We’ve been on UPMUNC together for three years. It was fun as a freshman. You get to meet people and see crazy logistical fetes unfold and to actually plan this year, it was amazing to see logistical fetes unfold with the knowledge and understanding of how much work goes into UPMUNC. It’s like coming full circle.

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of Penn?
I really like surfing and snowboarding. I’m interested in photography. I’m considering going abroad to South Africa next semester, where I’d be taking classes at the University of Cape Town. Other things I like: I love eating food. Philadelphia is filled with super awesome restaurants. Buddakan is awesome if your parents are in town.

What’s your guilty pleasure?
People talk a lot about being really into television, but I’m really into television. Even in preparation for UPMUNC and only sleeping 4-5 hours a night, I was still watching TV over getting more hours of sleep. My longest streak is probably eight hours honestly. Since UPMUNC planning, I’ve never had eight hours where I’ve had to do something else, but I definitely fit in a few hours.

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