Tonight, McHugh Hall was buzzing with anticipatory energy at the Opening Ceremonies for the 2018 UConn Model UN conference. As hundreds of delegates from 20 high schools filed in, they filled the seats and the room with excited chatter.
Once everyone was settled, Secretary-General Lucas Bladen took the podium. After welcoming delegates and advisors, he reiterated our values as a learning conferences. By engaging in realistic committee simulations and substantive debate, our staff aims to encourage delegates to be active, compassionate leaders. Then, Bladen introduced the keynote speaker, Betty Hanson.
We were honored to have Elizabeth “Betty” Hanson, well-renowned scholar and our very first advisor, as our keynote speaker this evening. She shared her experience at UCMUN’s inaugural conference, which boasted only 33 delegates. Sitting among an audience of over 300, it became clear just how much this organization has grown.
Hanson also reminded us why participating in this conference is so important. Effective diplomacy is what the world needs right now, and according to Hanson’s law, “it’s impossible to understand international relations when looking through a single country’s perspective — and Model United Nations is the best place to experience this truth in action.”
As Hanson concluded her speech, she was met with a standing ovation. Then, Director-General Mary Vlamis stood up to take roll. After ensuring all countries were present, the crowd voted on a motion to open the conference. Needless to say, it passed with overwhelming support, so the gavel was struck, and the conference was declared officially open!