As gavel struck podium, a crack echoed through the expanse of the Palmer House, and ChoMUN XIX opened to Model United Nations delegates, unleashing hundreds into a weekend of debate, compromise, and drama. Drawing from over 70 colleges and split amongst two dozen committees, the University of Chicago’s annual collegiate level MUN conference provided the setting for immersive diplomatic role playing in detailed historical scenes.
Held within downtown Chicago’s Palmer House hotel, conference rooms transformed into the board rooms of Salomon Brothers, the decks of a sinking Titanic, or the Roman Senate. The conference stretched 19 hours of committee time over four days, running from Thursday evening to Sunday and left delegates with unforgettable experiences.
“It was exciting to be in a setting that mirrored the career that I hope to pursue” explained Ailih Weeldreyer K’19, who took part in Madam Secretary: Hillary Clinton’s State Department, an imagined staff provided with various crises and tasked with resolving said issues.
Other committees included the Black Gold: Global Oil Consortium and Bribesville: The Italian Parliament, with delegates respectively acting as corporate CEOs in an illegal petroleum cartel or as elected officials in the Italian assembly of decades past. Each committee had to solve “crises” generated by dedicated University of Chicago MUN staff members in real time, with each crisis a result of previous actions taken by the committee or individual delegates.
“MUN provides a platform for students to explore diplomatic fantasies while simultaneously developing communication and problem solving skills in a high intensity environment,” described Graham Key K’16, who acted as the Chief Technology Officer in a 1935-1966 Walt Disney Studios emulation.
The K Model United Nations team will now close out the year, but anxiously awaits its next diplomatic adventure.