After school on Wednesday, February 4th, we flew from Philly to Chicago O’Hare, arriving at our hotel, the Palmer House Hilton, in time for a late dinner (which, in Chicagoan jargon translates to take-out Chicago-style pizza from Lou Malnati’s, or so the nice man on the train told us). We devoured close to a dozen marinara and meat lover’s pies, retreating into food comas after the exhausting afternoon of travel.
Thursday morning, Mr. Moyer arranged for us to visit the Art Institute of Chicago Museum near Millennium Park, and we oo-ed and ah-ed our way through real Seurat’s and Hopper’s and the iconic American Gothic after taking ‘selfies’ of our reflections in ‘the Bean’ (a.k.a. Cloud Gate). I went with ten or so other students to grab a delicious lunch at Noodles by Takashi Yagihashi (real mushroom ramen!) and then ice skate in Millennium Park (where we met our first fellow MUN-ers, delegates from Michigan).
|A snowy selfie in "the Bean."|
The conference of 2,500 students began that evening with the Opening Ceremonies and addresses from Ms. Michele A. Rasmussen, Dean of Students at UChicago, and Dr. Nabeel Khoury, Associate Professor of Middle East and North African Studies at Northwestern University. Now dressed in our dresses and blazers and khakis and stockings, we all went to our different rooms for our first session of committee. Twenty two of us were Sudanese, advocating in committees such as UN Water and UNICEF in the best interests of Sudan.
I was fortunate enough to serve on a historic committee, Supreme
Commander for the Allied Powers (SCAP), where our undergrad chair was General
MacArthur, and I was Mr. Patrick Shaw, British Commonwealth Representative on
the Allied Council for Japan; we were charged with restructuring Japan during
the Allied Occupation in the wake of World War II. During the course of the
conference, we battled through assassinations, the beginning of the Korean War,
biological warfare, and Emperor Hirohito’s brutal murder. Because SCAP was a
crisis committee, we (the delegates) not only
discussed directives that issued for land reform or new infrastructure, but
we also got to use our individual
influence to act during crises. I befriended the delegate sitting next to me,
and we worked together to find the communist moles in SCAP and hold an evil
scientist hostage in jail – it was a blast!
On Friday, my role was changed from
Mr. Shaw after SCAP broke from the Allied Council for Japan, and I assumed the
title Chief of Staff – and, with it, control over all the staff sections of
SCAP. At the conclusion of the conference, we soon found out that another
friend of mine, the Chief Engineer, was a communist affiliate undermining all
of SCAP’s initiatives! At MUNUC, I had to navigate a historical crisis within a
room of secrets, and I was engaged in the excitement of SCAP through all 20
hours of committee. Even though I did MUN since 10th grade, I
learned so much more about how to collaborate with others and affect meaningful
|The SCAP hard at work.|
|Claudia, Ms. Fraser, Mr. Moyer, and fellow seniors at the Conference.|
|More sights in the Windy City.|
In between committee sessions, we explored Chicago – eating an awesome brunch at Wildberry Pancakes and Café and ordering in late-night burgers and milkshakes from Rudy’s. On Saturday night, we shared a delicious team dinner at Flat Top Grill, a Chipotle-esque DIY wok bowl restaurant.
|MUNers ride Chicago's famous "L."|
Sunday at noon, after Closing Ceremonies, we bid Chicago a bittersweet adieu and headed back home to the east coast. All-in-all, it was an unforgettable trip!
~ Claudia M. ‘15