Mentor Model U.N.’s Fall Recap

In holiday mode, check out MUN’s one-horse open SLAY
The Bean under construction.
The Bean under construction.

Mentor High School’s Model United Nations team cracked down on their first conferences this past November and December on a successful kick-off to the season. Mentor’s MUN team, passionate about foreign affairs, attends multiple local Cleveland conferences and a couple of international out-of-state conferences every year.

The team’s first competitive conference this year was on November 6th and 7th, where the team competed at the annual autumn conference run by the Cleveland Council of World Affairs (CCWA) at Case Western Reserve University to merit some fruitful debate – and much success. On November 29th, Mentor MUN hosted students from Memorial and Shore at their annual middle school conference to prepare students for their own Jr. MUN CCWA conference in January. On an even more enjoyable note, the team even took a six-hour bus ride to Chicago, Illinois to the Chicago International Model United Nations (CIMUN) conference from December 7-10th, which merited much success and much tiredness.


Model UN is an academic club fielding more than 30 members (more formally known as “delegates” in MUN-lingo) from MHS –  all of whom attended the autumn CCWA conference this November. During traditional conferences, like CCWA, delegates work either as single delegations (as individuals) or as double delegations (with a partner), representing nations across the globe like the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Switzerland, and Russia. Delegates are all dispersed among committees and cabinets, mirroring those of the real-life ones of the United Nations. 

The mock Junior MUN conference at Paradigm. (Ayesha Faruki)

Mentor’s MUN team has had much success previously at CCWA conferences, and this year was no excuse. The team had three delegations win awards at this fall’s conference, with Loren Wandersleben and West Matthews winning Excellent Delegation as Saudi Arabia in OPEC, Isabel Quinones and Sarah Blakemore winning Superior Delegation as Russian Confederation in Security Council, and Jaden Russell and Brian Mignogna winning the Position Paper award as New Zealand in ECOSOC. At the fall CCWA conference, our delegates were excused from school for two days to debate foreign policy and foreign affairs, making compromises to come up with the best diplomatic solution possible. 

“It was a good experience to have as a freshman, and it makes me really excited for future conferences like New York,” says freshman Noni Arndt.

This year, CCWA leadership also consisted of Mentor MUN alumnus Joy Mason, who attended Case Western Reserve University and started Mentor’s two middle school Jr. MUN programs at Shore and Memorial. The team additionally hopes to attend CCWA’s Spring Conference this April.

Mentor Junior MUN

Our two middle school teams from Memorial and Shore also attend two Junior Model United Nations conferences annually. Every year, our high school team hosts a Jr. MUN conference for our two teams to prepare our delegates for their first CCWA conference from January 10-11, 2024 at John Carroll University. On November 29th, the two teams drove up to the MHS Paradigm to debate on topics like the UN’s sustainability development goals. The students worked in pairs and were partnered up with one high school mentor who guided them throughout the conference experience. Students learned about parliamentary procedure and debate from their high school peers to apply at their conference in January. The team hopes that these students will be able to join the high school MUN team in the years to come!

Fairmont Chicago Hotel at CIMUN. (Ayesha Faruki)


Arguably the most exciting conference of the year, the Chicago International Model UN conference (otherwise known as CIMUN), was also the most successful for our team. Students departed at the ripe hour of 6 a.m. from MHS on a cozy warm bus to Chicago, Illinois. While also full-on with debate and foreign affairs, CIMUN was also an enjoyable experience for our team. After some hot dogs and chocolate cake shakes at Portillo’s and a  bus ride with Madison’s team, the group strolled down the Chicago streets to see some sights like The Bean (which unfortunately was under construction). The conference was self-enclosed at the Fairmont Chicago Hotel, where delegates stayed, debated, and also enjoyed a nice opening banquet where they ate dinner with students across the country.

Chicago. (Ayesha Faruki)

After dinner, students were dispersed into different committees and cabinets, both reflecting historical and current events. These included the General Assembly, the Security Council, a special board for X (otherwise known as Twitter), and many more where students represented countries and officials. Committee sessions ran for an additional three hours Thursday night. Saturday and Sunday in total accounted for around 18 hours of committee sessions, where delegates fought for resolutions and directives to be passed – with added time for the John Hancock building, Chicago-style pizza, brief pitstops at the delegate dance, and buying hot pink merchandise (“CIMUN XIX is my Roman Empire.” “Decorum? I hardly know ‘em”).

“CIMUN was, in fact, a total slay,” said West Matthews, Mentor MUN co-president, in response to the excitement and exhaustion CIMUN provided us with.

From the John Hancock building. (Ayesha Faruki)

On the final day, the conference was punctuated with a rather successful awards ceremony for the Mentor team. Tatyana Sowerby won Delegate’s Choice and Best Delegate, Isabel Quinones won Outstanding Delegate, West Matthews, Charles Partlow, double-delegates Theron Christokis and Juliana Nichols won Honorable Mentions, and Zoe Barninger won Oustanding Delegate in Special Negotiations. Almost immediately afterward, the team hopped on the bus again for another six hours on the road back to Mentor, Ohio.

“CIMUN was such a great experience!” Mentor MUN Parliamentarian Tatyana Sowerby exclaimed. “I learned so much about public speaking and diplomacy. I can’t wait to go again.”


More to Discover