Students Earn Accolades at Yale Model U.N. - Kingswood Oxford

News & Events

January 26, 2024

Students Earn Accolades at Yale Model U.N.

KO’s annual pilgrimage to New Haven occurred Jan 18-21 as 34 Wyverns participated in Yale Model U.N. Three KO students earned awards for their work. Saanve Bathula ’24 won Outstanding Delegate in a Specialized Committee on Rome; Minnila Muthukumar ’24 won Best Delegate for her Committee Press Corps; and Sam Almedia ’26 was named Honorable Delegate for her work in the Crisis Committee.

 

At YMUN, 2,000 delegates representing 45 countries interact with one another through debate and diplomacy to solve complex challenges facing the world today. At YMUN, delegates take on roles of UN representatives, policymakers, and important figures at the conference and learn about the inner workings of global politics and problem-solving. This year, former Secretary General of the U.N., Ban Ki-moon spoke at the event.

 

Muthukumar is a seasoned pro at Model UN, attending the event since her sophomore year; she now serves as chair of the team. Using her debate skills as chair of the Speech and Debate team, she enjoyed applying her public speaking knowledge to a more real-world scenario. For this year’s Model U.N., Muthukumar was a Wall Street Journal reporter in the press corps, covering the Hunger Games Committee.  One topic she covered was the ethics of using AI in journalism. “As the Wall Street Journal, I mainly argued that we should use AI as a tool and not phase out the authenticity of journalism,” Muthkumar said. Muthkumar said she maintained objectivity, posting approximately 45 tweets daily on her topics and writing two press releases in a journalistic style detailing the events.

 

Before the event, Muthukumar prepped by subscribing to the Journal and researching AP style, gaining a deeper understanding of the various types of writing. Regarding AI, Muthkumar said,  “I think journalism’s really unique in the sense that every article is very authentic because each journalist has their unique worldview and way of reporting. AI, at least as of now, isn’t intelligent enough to mimic the differences that each human has. It would be a bad idea to replace the authenticity of humans with the robotic sense of AI.”

 

In Baathula’s specialized committee, she took a trip to the past, portraying a fictional Roman senator, Tiberius Fabious, who was voted in by the plebians. Initially, Baathula/Tiberius was in support of Julius Caesar because her constituents viewed him as a hero. The “senate” wrestled with two dominant crises: Julius Caesar’s growing influence and the looming war with Carthage. Each hour, the group was presented with a new crisis. In one instance, the senators needed to contend with Caesar naming his illegitimate son, Caesarian, born to Cleopatra, as his heir to the throne. This action would have uprooted the entire Roman Republic, and the senators wrestled with dealing with the issue.

 

Baathula cosplayed the role of Tiberius and relished the drama. “You may be assigned a viewpoint that you never really thought of, or you might assigned something that you don’t know a lot about,” she said. “Researching and getting into the character is half the fun.” In addition to the role-playing, Baathula wrote a position paper explaining her stance on the topic, guiding her through the committee.

 

 

Baathula said she has cultivated her leadership skills through her four years participating in Model U.N, a style she describes as “conversational” in finding a common ground with an opponent.  “We form blocs in committee, groups of people with similar ideas, who write resolutions, and you can be in control of the blocs. In freshman year, speaking in front of 100 peers was very stressful, but over time, I’ve become more comfortable. That is one of the more transformational things. Learning to take a risk and trying to lead a bloc.”

 

Like Muthukumar, Baathula is a public speaking pro, a skill strongly encouraged by her mother since freshman year. In addition to participating in Model UN, she chairs KOMUN for the middle school and is the head chair of the speech and debate team. 

 

Due to the limited number of spots available to attend the event, Sam Almeida ’26 participated in the activities as an individual delegate by enrolling independently. In her crisis committee, which Almedia said is ever-changing and requires a high level of adaptation, Almeida portrayed Prince William, the Duke of Canterbury, during the Jacobite Rebellion in 1745. Before Model U.N., Almedia researched Prince William, the second son of the king and the general who won the decisive Battle of Culloden over the Jacobites.  Almeida admits William was not “a great guy.”

 

“In our crisis,” she said, “the Jacobites declared war, and you have to decide what to do. You have to tax. You have to keep the citizens on your side while drawing up battle strategies and going to war and anticipating what the Jacobites would do.” 

 

 

What did Almedia learn about herself in this high-stakes situation? “You don’t just speak to speak. You speak with intent. You need to lead people with how you speak. I discovered that I don’t bend under pressure. I keep going.”

 

Main News
X

KO and a Cup of Joe – Thursday Mornings throughout the Summer

Join us for a brief information session to learn about the academic and co-curricular offerings at Kingswood Oxford School during the summer: June 20, 27, July 11, 18, 25, August 1, and 8 at 8:30 a.m. in Roberts Building’s lower lobby. For more information, contact our Admissions Office at (860) 727-5000. What a Difference a Day Makes!