ILMUNC Perspectives

Quotes from the Staff

The Ambassador Staff

Through the weekend of January 29 to February 1, thousands of high school students gathered in Philadelphia for the 31st Ivy League Model United Nations Conference, or ILMUNC XXXI. Hosted at the Sheraton Downtown, the conference grouped the 2700 students into 24 committees, each headed by a chair, minus the 8 crisis committees, headed by a crisis director and moderator. Shashwat Chugh, who was the Crisis Director for the Central Intelligence Agency 1980 committee, helped his crisis committee rewrite the events of the period, mostly dealing with engagements in Poland, El Salvador, and Afghanistan. “I was really impressed by the caliber of these kids,” he said. “They were always willing to come up with creative solutions, and kept the debate engaging even through midnight crisis.” Midnight crisis is traditionally a surprise committee for the conference participants, as they are woken up from their rooms for the session. Petra Nichols, chair of the United Nations Committee on the Status of Women, also reiterated how impressed she was by her committee. “Everyone was trying to do their best,” she said. Nichols noted the enthusiasm of all of the participants, as many seemed to be trying to take in as much of Philadelphia and Penn as they could. “They would come up to the dais and ask us for restaurant recommendations and our experiences at Penn,” she said. “It was refreshing to see how excited they were.” Riley Steele, Secretary General, said that despite the stress of organizing the conference and the immense responsibility of answering to faculty advisors and pleasing the staff, it was an incredibly rewarding experience. “Walking into opening ceremonies with everyone banging their gavels for me was something you never forget,” he said.