TorreyMUN Conference Goes Virtual
By Jennifer Fogarty, communications content manager
Upper Schoolers revise their plans and discover advantages to hosting a conference online.
This past fall, when the members of Torrey Model United Nations (MUN) started planning to host their first conference, they had no idea how much would change at the last minute. The COVID-19 pandemic altered plans worldwide, and the students didn’t let this challenge stop them from reaching their dream. The Upper Schoolers persevered and brainstormed a way to make it work virtually. This also meant international friends from other MUN conferences could join and because it went so well, an online component may be added for future conferences.
“Students were able to adjust for the pandemic and then use their limitations as advantages to increase participation and strengthen the program,” shares Upper School history educator and TorreyMUN co-chair Jonathan Shulman. “The other element was just how many students were introduced to MUN for the first time as participants and how many were energized throughout the entire day. I often teach about the importance of flexibility and adaptability; this was a master class—led by students—in both.”
TorreyMUN joined forces with co-hosts TritonMUN from The Preuss School UC San Diego for the inaugural T&T Model United Nations Conference on Saturday, April 25, 2020. The theme was Finding Identity and Belonging in a Global Community and featured opening speaker Vivian Glyck, founder of the Just Like My Child Foundation.
The event raised more than $500 to be donated to Feeding San Diego and brought together more than 110 attendees from San Diego, Los Angeles, Chicago, Mexico, the Netherlands and Panama. LJCDS Middle Schoolers, parents/guardians and faculty/staff also logged in to learn more about MUN.
“The resulting conference was everything I could’ve ever dreamed of and more,” shared Nikita Nair ’20, co-founder of TorreyMUN. “I was filled with a growing sense of pride over what we were able to accomplish in a couple of weeks. It was apparent that creating a global community came almost like second nature to everyone who attended. I was touched that even when we are all forced to be physically distant from each other, this conference showed we can still manage to come together in ways that matter.”