By: Shlomit Ebbin  | 

YUNMUN Conference Scheduled To Be In Person This March

Yeshiva University National Model United Nations (YUNMUN) XXXII Conference will be in person this year, taking place from Mar. 13-15 at its pre-COVID location of the Crown Plaza Hotel in Stamford, CT. 

According to  YU’s website, YUNMUN is “a student-run simulation of the workings of the real United Nations” for high school students to “experience and learn about the complex landscape of international diplomacy.” High school students represent different countries, researching their countries’ interests and policies over a variety of world issues, and YU students facilitate the conference by running and planning the operations of each committee. 

Over 30 high schools are joining the conference, with over 300 high school students. Last year, YUNMUN was held via Zoom due to COVID. The conference is usually held in February, but it was pushed off to March in hopes that it could be in person. 75% of delegates registered to come to the conference agreed to be in person, which was the final push that allowed it to happen. This year’s conference is smaller than previous years; in previous years the conference attracted over 40 schools with over 400 students. Deposits paid by schools that are no longer attending will be rolled over to next year. 

Dena Feigenbaum, a staff member of the YU admissions office who is actively involved in facilitating YUNMUN every year, outlined the COVID guidelines in an email sent to YUNMUN chaperones and advisors. She wrote that all participants, delegates and advisors are required to have at least two COVID-19 vaccines and must submit proof upon registering. Boosters are recommended but not required. All participants will also be required to have a negative PCR test within 48 hours of arrival at the conference. Additionally, no one is allowed to leave the hotel once they have arrived unless they leave due to sickness. If a student gets sick while at the conference, it is at the discretion of their school to either pay for a private hotel room until the student can travel home or to provide transportation home for the student. Students who test positive will not be refunded their registration fee. 

“The administration has been doing everything it can to try to make the conference the best and safest conference it can be,” shared YUNMUN Co-Secretary General Charlie Kramer (YC ‘22). “Once we got the go-ahead from the YU Covid team, as well as the majority of high schools, we made the decision to give our high school delegates the in-person conference they so deserve.”

Leeba Sullivan (SCW ‘22), the other co-secretary general, agreed. “I think I can speak on behalf of all of the staff for this year’s conference that we are extremely excited for the conference this year to be in person,” she told The Commentator. “Especially given the past two years, we are so grateful to have this opportunity being able to gather together and facilitate a conversion for high school students to discuss and debate some of the real issues our world is currently facing, such as the Covid-19 vaccine distribution, the Uighur Crisis and the Taliban takeover just to name a few.”

The new March date for the conference presents conflicts with midterms for some undergraduates partaking in YUNMUN. YU students were required to submit the CRNs for any classes that have midterms they will miss, and they are awaiting further instructions. 

“While we needed to postpone the conference from its original date in February, we knew that we were not going to find any other ‘perfect’ date for the conference,” said Kramer. “We are working diligently with students who have potential conflicts, as well as administrators and professors, to ensure that everyone finds a solution that works for them. In our new world remade by Covid-19, both students and professors are doing their best to be understanding and accommodating, and we are very grateful for that.”  

Students were excited about the announcement that YUNMUN will be taking place in person. “One of the beautiful and most amazing aspects of YUNMUN is bringing high schoolers from all around North America to not only participate in the wonderful sessions but to get to know each other and make new friends as well,” said Head of YUNMUN Media Center Ayelet Marder (SCW ‘22). “An in person event allows for that true social experience."

Kramer and Sullivan expressed their gratitude to those who enabled YUNMUN to happen this year. “We are very grateful for all the time, dedication and flexibility the YU students and admission office have put into this conference, especially given all the uncertainty throughout the planning process,” said Sullivan.

“Leeba and I would like to thank Dena Feigenbaum from the admissions department, as well as Menachem Lewin from operations, who do so much to make YUNMUN a reality,” said Kramer. “We also want to give a shout-out to our amazing staff, who help mold the conference into the amazing experience that we all know it to be. See you at YUNMUN XXXII!!!!!”

Photo Caption: 2019 delegates at YUNMUN 30. 

Photo Credit: Yeshiva University