At Shanghai Community International School (SCIS), students have access to extracurricular activities allowing them to become well-rounded, community contributors, ready to take on any action in the real world. One such enriching activity is Model United Nations (MUN), an opportunity to develop leadership skills, worldly knowledge, confidence building, and so much more.
In our latest Community Voices, we had the chance to chat with Danielle, the captain of the SCIS Hongqiao MUN Club, where she explains the importance of world issues and promoting peace through diplomacy and cooperation.
Can you briefly introduce yourself?
Hi, I’m Danielle Chu, I’m a Freshman and I’ve been at SCIS since Grade 6. I am originally from Taiwan, but I have lived in Shanghai my entire life.
Can you tell us what MUN is?
MUN is a simulation of the United Nations in which students take on the role of state delegates, debating real-world issues ranging from drug trafficking to wildlife trading to ongoing or hot-button issues, such as the Israel-Palestine conflict. Delegates have to collaborate to form a resolution that everybody will debate upon and they work together to reach a consensus to solve or address the issue.
How long have you been a part of MUN?
I joined MUN in 6th grade. I was promoted to be one of the captains of the SCIS MUN Club at the beginning of this year, and recently, I became the youngest SCIS student officer ever for a MUN conference, when I was selected to be the Deputy President of the Security Council at SUZMUN, which was hosted by the Suzhou Singapore International School in May 2022.
What does it mean to be a MUN captain?
Being part of a team also means that there are many people with different skills and strengths. As a captain, it is my job to make sure that everyone improves at their own pace, and receives the help they need. There are many junior delegates, and I take it upon myself to train them, pay them more attention, and assist them so that they can be confident on ‘game day’.
What inspired you to join MUN?
My older sister Annette, who was in the SCIS Class of 2020, encouraged me to join the club, back when I was still in Grade 6. At that time, Annette was a MUN captain and she saw that I was interested in global issues. My mom used to be a lawyer, and we discuss global and current issues a lot at home, so that kind of stirred up my interest too. Moreover, I love how you can meet many people through MUN, and how you get to role-play a delegate whilst tackling real-world issues like wildlife trafficking
What have you learned from past MUN competitions and experiences?
Most importantly, I learned how to solve issues diplomatically. Sometimes, the discussions can be aggressive and heated, however, one has to respond diplomatically, as if we are world leaders and country representatives. When taking on that role, you must think critically about how those country leaders might respond in times of crisis and what actions they may take.
I feel that debating and preparing for so many MUN conferences has broadened my knowledge of social issues and challenged me into thinking about how I can be part of the solution, not only as a student but also as a global citizen.
What experiences from MUN have defined who you are today?
MUN has also taught me how to keep my composure in heated scenarios. It taught me how to be diplomatic and solve issues calmly and collectively. Some situations got heated, and people cried; you may need to handle that positively and patiently.
What are some current topics that are important to you and that our community should be concerned about?
As part of my responsibility recently as a committee chairperson, I had to write a detailed 3500-word Chair Report, and the topic assigned to me pertained to the Israel-Palestine conflict. I, personally, am very interested in this topic because I’ve been to Israel and the West Bank. I care so much about this topic that I have just started a student-led club at SCIS that will aim to fundraise for an educational organization in the West Bank and help sponsor a child’s education there. I think this is something that our SCIS community can learn more about.
What are some tips for future and current MUN students?
Don't be scared. You need to open yourself up to new people, new ideas, and new policies. You may be limiting yourself because of fear. Debating with others requires you to be open-minded. Delegates are often scared to look at things from another perspective because they don’t want to be seen as being ‘incorrect’. You may be assigned to represent an unfamiliar country, with beliefs that may differ then your own, but the best delegates are those who push themselves to completely take on the role of their assignment.
SCIS. Self-Directed Learners.
- community voices