Over 800 high school students from across the country took their seats at the Ferst Center on Monday, October 14th to participate in opening ceremonies for the Sixteenth Annual Georgia Tech Model United Nations (GTMUN) conference.
Annually, the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs sponsors a two-day Model United Nations (MUN) conference. High school students from around the nation convene to debate a host of global dilemmas at the most technologically advanced MUN conference in the nation. The conference is entirely run by Georgia Tech undergrad students from across campus, who serve as the Secretariat for the Model United Nations program leading, organizing, and facilitating the event. The fall GTMUN conference aims to promote global awareness and global citizenship among the world’s youth. This year, the GTMUN XVI Secretariat revolutionized the conference to realize its vision of “inspiring high school studentstoday to build a better tomorrow.” A vision that all 800+ high school students got to see put into action.
GTMUN Secretary General (& INTA undergrad) Andrew Wirt raised awareness of the GTMUN conference within the Atlanta Consular Corps, Atlanta City Hall, and the Metro-Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. These efforts culminated onMonday morning in a panel discussion of “Atlanta as an International City.” With panelists from the consular offices of Ireland and Germany, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs, and the Atlanta
City Council, the GTMUN XVI student participants were met with the support of the international community.
Director General (& INTA undergrad) Jacob Whitfield mobilized a staff of fifty-one volunteer Georgia Tech students to synthesize over four-hundred fifty pages of research guides for the GTMUN XVI participants, after consulting thousands of academic references. With the help of Ms. Mary Axford at the Georgia Tech Library, such efforts extended into the GTMUN Library Resource Guide, a multimedia conference preparation tool.
2013 bore witness to the most extensive rebranding campaign in sixteen years at GTMUN. Creative use of social media, including meme-based “Delegate Tips,” increased the GTMUN Facebook and Twitter following by 188% and 343%, respectively. And restyling of conference preparation materials, brochures, and registration packets by Undersecretary General (& Aeronautical Engineering undergrad) Lubna Zubair led to a 14% increase in conference participation from 2012 estimates.
The GTMUN XVI Staff also reinforced the conference’s tradition of technological prowess. Assistant Director Tanuj Maheshwari (Aeronautical Engineering) worked with Conference Director Rohan Aggarwal (Industrial Engineering) and Crisis Director Indrajit Viswanath (Industrial Engineering) to program an awards algorithm in Java, making the GTMUN awards process unbiased and speedy.
The high school students participating in the GTMUN left the Ferst Center after the Sixteenth Session commenced inspired to get involved– and stay involved– as citizens of a world that extends well beyond Tuesday.