The Kentucky YMCA (KY YMCA) holds it’s annual mock United Nations (UN) assembly, known as KUNA, every year in the spring. KUNA is one of the two multi-day events that Manual’s Y Club has attended for many years. The KY YMCA actually hosts six of these events, three for middle schools and three for high schools, from around the state. Each host between 1,000 and 1,200 students.
The preparation for KUNA begins well before the three day, two-night event held at an area hotel. The students are assigned countries, and begin to prepare a resolution, cultural attire, a global village, a sign, and a performance for their country. Manual represented eight countries this year. This work begins shortly before winter break and lasts for months as teams within each country tackle each of these areas, meeting at least once a week to work on their projects.
One of the unique things about KUNA is that it is completely student driven. The prior year, there is an election and the students elected serve as presiding officers. At the 2016 KUNA, Lydia Mason was elected Secretary General, the highest position at the conference. Mason is also one of four in the conference’s history to serve as Secretary General at both the middle and high school level. Also representing Manual was Kayla Payne, who served as a Justice in the International Court of Justice portion of KUNA.
The three-day event starts off with a parade of countries, where the students wear cultural attire and carry the flag and sign of their country. Then there is a tour of the Global Village to see the cultures of each of the countries represented. This is also a time when the resolution authors set up to answer questions about their packets and problems they intend to solve – it looks a lot like a science fair with delegates standing by their tri-folds answering questions from other delegates about issues important to those countries.
The following day is all about debate. Each of the countries will meet in various committees lead by student leaders. These committee chairs keep the resolution authors moving. Each country has a total of three minutes to explain their resolution in an opening and closing speech. In the middle is debate and time for questions. Then each of the delegates in that committee vote. The process is repeated in summits in the after the top resolutions are passed. If you pass both the committee and summit, you are given a chance to make your case to the Secretary General. A select few are chosen to be debated in the General Assembly in front of all 1,200 students.
There are multiple awards that are given out after hours of debating and negotiating. This year, here are some of the awards given to duPont Manual High School.
- Advisor Hall of Fame – Bill Jackson
- George Williams Award, the highest award given for service work
- Outstanding Resolution Packet
- Delegation of Excellence
- Ambassador of Goodwill – Maddie Goldstein
- Outstanding Delegate – Forest Clevenger
- Outstanding Speaker – Forest Clevenger
- International Court of Justice Showcase Choice – Destinee Grigsby
- Summit Committee Chair – Indigo Lemke
- Summit Committee Chair – Nick Koenig
- Committee Speaker Award – Cates Doyle
- Delegates’ Choice Resolution – Otis Milliken, Will Drury, Nathanael Honken, Mohammed Al-Mawasi, representing Germany with a resolution titled “Reforming the Security Council to Maintain Balance of Power”
- Candidate for Delegates’ Choice Resolution AND Resolution Endorsed by the Secretary General AND Outstanding Resolution – Kate Heidari and Ellie Himmel, representing Indonesia with a resolution titled “National Subsidization of Sustainable Palm Oil”
- Candidate for Delegates’ Choice Resolution AND Resolution Endorsed by the Secretary General AND Outstanding Resolution – Molly Armstrong, Brooke Bollinger, Avery Travis, Claire Milliken, representing Cambodia with a resolution titled “Decreasing the Healthcare Gap in Cambodia”
- Outstanding Resolution – Sabrina Naser, John Bingaman, Anisha Polimati, Kavya Koneru, representing Ecuador with a resolution titled “Rape Prevention in Ecuador”
- Outstanding Resolution – Ben Boutell, Grayson Smith, Amber Mulhall, Harper Carlton representing China with a resolution titled, “Safety Requirements for the Construction of Multinational Sporting Facilities”