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Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

MUN Hosts First Conference in Collaboration with Irvine High

Model United Nations (MUN) hosted Portola High’s inaugural MUN Conference on Feb. 3 and won four awards. Freshman Morgan Liaw won a commendation award in the Novice World Health Organization (WHO) committee, freshman Penelope Langley and sophomore Peri Akalin won research awards in the Novice WHO committee and junior Sofia Ionescu won an outstanding award in the Novice UN Women committee.

MUN adviser and social studies teacher Katie Wi said that MUN members have been eager to host a conference for years. Irvine High’s MUN club partnered with Portola High’s MUN club to host a joint conference.

“It’s been really gratifying for me to see that partnership happen unexpectedly and organically,” Wi said. “I’ve never helped host a conference before, so I just didn’t know what to expect. It seemed so overwhelming, but now that it’s happened, I just feel this huge sense of relief but also pride for the club because they worked so hard to make this happen.”

Being the host school, the leadership team welcomed the delegates and advisers of other schools during the opening ceremony.

“I started tearing up a little bit,” Wi said. “I was sitting in the back watching them and they’re — I’m getting even choked up talking about it. They were so professional, so confident. I guess they were a little intimidating. I was sitting in the back of the room and all of our MUN people were standing in the front or sitting on the sides and they were just so ready to go, like ‘game time.” I was really proud of that moment.”

There were 10 first-time competitors in Portola High’s MUN club, some of whom won awards, according to Wi. Additionally, many board members served as chairs for the first time.

“It was very enlightening to see how the other delegates were working together,” Novice WHO head chair and junior Ana Girnita said. “For me, it really highlighted the true purpose of Model United Nations, which is diplomacy and creativity and adaptability when it comes to solving these significant world issues. So, what was truly enlightening was I got to see both delegates who are diplomatic and delegates who are more aggressive, and it kind of taught me about what it really means to participate in these kinds of activities.”

Many members of Portola High’s MUN club found attending the conference to be especially comfortable because it was hosted at their own school. Girnita said attending outside conferences is more nerve-wracking because the style varies between conferences and other delegates.

“I was able to speak a lot and present my ideas,” Liaw said. “Because so many people are people I know, it feels a lot easier.”

Portola High’s MUN club hopes to carry on this new tradition of hosting conferences for years to come, according to Wi. The next conference they will be attending is on March 16 at University High.

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About the Contributors
Maya Tedini, Opinion Editor
Maya Tedini is the Opinion Editor for her second year on the Portola Pilot. She’s looking forward to working with the leadership team along with getting to know the new members of the Pilot. She’s excited to discover all the fascinating opinions of the wonderful staff and to continue to grow her strengths as a journalist. Outside of the newsroom, she’s most likely listening to music, that may or may not all be by Taylor Swift, at cheer practice or spending time with her sister.
Kayleen Kim, Managing Editor
Kayleen Kim is the managing editor for her third and final year on the Portola Pilot. This year, she'll aim to make her final interactions with the team special by tackling the complicated challenges of Wordpress and consistently bothering staff about their deadlines. She enjoys podcasting, coming up with fresh lines for her novel, practicing the cello, and giving her dog, Tofu <3, plenty of kisses when she's not quietly dancing to Jam Republic’s or Bada Lee’s choreographies at 3 a.m.
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