The Stanford Model United Nations Conference is the premier conference for high school students in the South Bay and Silicon Valley. Hosted by the Society for International Affairs at Stanford, a Stanford University student group, SMUNC is an opportunity for high school students to gain valuable debate, negotiation and public speaking skills while learning about international affairs and global issues. To get conference updates and information, subscribe to our mailing list.
100 staff members
Registration has closed for SMUNC 2017.
Early Registration: deadline July 1. $80 per delegation, $78 per delegate (includes fee)
Regular Registration: deadline September 1. $90 per delegation, $94 per delegate (includes fee)
Late Registration: deadline October 1. $100 per delegation, $120 per delegate (includes fee)
Position Papers Due: 11:59pm, November 3
SMUNC: November 10-12, 2017
SMUNC has negotiated reduced rates at the Sheraton Palo Alto and the Westin Palo Alto. Each delegation should email their booking requests to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com with the subject line “Model UN Hotel Reservation Request.” The email should contain a list of each guests’ first and last names, and your arrival and departure dates. If you have any problems, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sheraton Palo Alto
Traditional King rooms or rooms with two double beds
Thursday rate: $319.00 + taxes
Friday and Saturday rate: $139.00 + taxes
Westin Palo Alto
Traditional King rooms or rooms with two double beds
Thursday rate: $389.00 + taxes
Friday and Saturday rate: $179.00 + taxes
Marguerite shuttles will take students from these hotels to the drop-off points on campus. The specific shuttle times of departures will be made available at a later time.
The delegate handbook is available to download here along with the Delegate Code of Conduct.
Position paper instructions can be found on page 5 of the handbook. In short, position papers should roughly follow this format: (1) statement of the problem as the delegate’s country sees it; (2) past action of the delegate’s country on this issue; (3) potential solutions. Position papers should be at minimum one page per topic. They should be double spaced with 1 inch margins aligned to the left hand side of the page. The upper left-hand corner should include the delegate’s position; their school/delegation; the committee name; and the topic they are addressing.
As Stanford’s motto “the winds of freedom blow” illustrates, we believe that the freedom to discuss politics and international relations is crucial to maintaining an open and pluralistic society. Therefore, many of our committees will tackle many sensitive issues head on.
However, SMUNC is dedicated to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all students. If any delegates feel uncomfortable with any issue in committee, they should notify their Chair and/or the Secretariat. We will work to resolve the issue and may involve advisors or the Stanford administrator at Student Activities and Leadership (SAL).
Position papers for all committees are due at 11:59PM on November 3. Delegates should email their position papers as a PDF directly to their chair and include their committee name, delegation name, and their committee position.
Delegates are required to write position papers in order to be eligible for awards. Late position papers will be accepted, however may detract from a delegate’s overall committee score. SMUNC prefers delegates to submit a position paper late than none at all.
Located in Silicon Valley, Stanford believes in the positive power of technology. Therefore, laptops will be allowed in GA committees during unmoderated caucuses for the purpose of drafting resolutions. However, chairs reserve the right to ban laptops at any time if they feel they are disruptive to committee. Due to the pace of crisis committees, laptops will not be allowed to write committee notes or directives. However, if delegates wish to conduct further research during committee, they may use their laptops or phones at the discretion of the chair.
If you do not have access to a laptop that you can bring to the conference, please email us at least two weeks prior to SMUNC and we will arrange for a computer you can use for the duration of the conference at no cost. Update: as of October 29, we can no longer accept more laptop requests.
For questions about conference logistics, please email us at email@example.com. For questions about registration and payment process, please contact the Stanford Ticket Office directly.
Committee assignments will be sent out by the second week of October, with background guides following shortly thereafter.
All registration for the 2017 conference is currently closed. Registration for the 2018 conference will likely open in May 2018.
SMUNC is run by the Society for International Affairs at Stanford, a recognized University student organization. You can find the contact information of the Associate Dean & Director of Student Activities and Leadership on the SAL website.
Chairs: Ben Chao (KMT), Elijah Spiegel (CPC), Kyle Dixon (USSR), Bryan Metzger (USA)
The joint crisis will feature four high-level committees interacting within the same crisis universe in 1945: the United States, the Soviet Union, the Kuomintang, and the Communist Party of China. Delegates in the joint crisis will navigate the political, economic, and military complexities of the Chinese Civil War, the end of the Second World War, and the beginning of the Cold War. The joint crisis will focus on realism, detail, and nuance. Delegates are expected to be well-informed and well-researched while exhibiting strong skills in public speaking, debate, and personal diplomacy.
Chair: Sam Reamer (Greeks), Sophia Ponte (Trojans)
From the face that launched a thousand ships, to the loss of Greece’s bravest son, to the breaking of the impenetrable walls, step into a conflict that shook the ancient world. In the Trojan War JCC, delegates will represent either Troy or Greece as they battle for supremacy. Delegates will face dissent in their own ranks, questions of societal order, and military obstacles to decide the fate of their armies and their lives. As the Iliad will caution hundreds of years later, “Forever quarreling is dear to your heart, and wars and battles//and if you are very strong indeed, that is a god's gift.”
Chair: Frank Lou
This crisis committee will start in 1756, right before the onset of the Seven Years' War in Europe. This was one of the most formative periods in the history of Europe, politically, scientifically, and culturally. With the Enlightenment in full swing, massive political upheaval is brewing across the continent, as the absolutism and feudalism of the 17th century is slowly giving way to a modern nation-state, and a redesigned concept of the state and citizen. Politically, there may be a swing of power from the traditional leaders of France and Austria to the newly dominant Great Britain and Prussia. At the center of this is Frederick the Great, the enlightened despot of Prussia, one of the continent's foremost rulers with a great deal of intellectual, social, and of course political capital to do as he see fit.
Chair: Sima Biondi
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) was established as one of the six principal organs of the United Nations and held its first meeting on January 17, 1946. As defined by Articles XXIV and XXV of the Charter of the United Nations (UN Charter), the UNSC is charged with the “primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security” and all UN member states “agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council.” Thus, all actions taken by the UNSC in accordance with Chapter VII: Actions with Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace and Acts of Aggression are legally binding on its members. The bodies membership is comprised of five permanent members - China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States - and ten non-permanent members, elected on a rotating basis for two year terms from regional blocs.
While the powers of the Security Council range from investigating disputes and issuing press statements to launching peacekeeping operations and imposing economic sanctions, it is imperative that it remains actively engaged on and dedicated to resolving urgent international conflicts. At SMUNC 2017, delegates will debate two topics that are some of the most urgent and complex presently facing the international community. All member states should be prepared and committed to develop comprehensive and innovative resolutions that are in accordance with international law and secure human rights, peace and stability.
Chair: Matt Wigler
The American project is unstable, still with something to prove in the world. The Articles of Confederation have proved to be unsuitable for a growing nation. A convention has been called to revise the Articles, but some delegates have made no secret of their desire to create another government entirely. With the country’s future at stake, compromise will be both difficult and necessary. The strongest delegates will keep this in mind, but remain true to their beliefs as well.
Chair: Ruchir Rastogi
This special convention of cybersecurity experts from both the public and private sectors in the United States will focus on two pressing items in particular. First, the right of private companies to engage in offensive cyber security attacks against foreign hackers. Second, the ethics of tech companies and ISPs selling/providing both granular as well as meta-data to the government for national security purposes. Both topics are motivated by current domestic and international events, and so delegates will be able to engage with both reasonably well even if they don’t have any knowledge of computer science. A motif throughout the committee will be the gender imbalance in tech, as is true in the real life field. Successful delegates will be able to address the implications of the issues at hand from three perspectives: the technical, the global impact, and the impact on the industry.
Chair: Julien Brinson
Black Lives Matter, period. They don’t matter more than anyone else’s, but they don’t matter less than anyone else’s either. Unfortunately, it’s rather difficult to assert that Black Lives do indeed matter to America when considering the systemic injustices against Black people, and I’m not just talking about police killings. Housing discrimination, education disparities, job discrimination, health outcomes, the wealth gap and countless other metrics, broken down by race, reveal Black people in particular, and people of color in general, are worse off than their white counterparts. Therefore, former President Barack Obama, the chair of the committee, has called this Summit on Black Lives Matter to build consensus among community activists/organizers and politicians from all levels and branches of government to write policies in an effort to close those gaps of discrimination.
Chair: Timothy Mazai
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) seeks to further cooperation and integration among its member states. This committee will be dedicated to exploring the challenges of Chinese investment in Southern Africa, from a multiplicity of angles. The economic cooperation between China and SADC members is particularly important, but so are the domestic political structures within SADC member countries. Further, what are the societal and cultural effects of having a surge in Chinese migration to Southern Africa? Delegates will each have different responses to these questions, but ultimately must unite behind a common goal.
Chair: Michaela Szabo
This committee will explore the prospects of the Paris Agreement, signed in 2015, upon its scheduled implementation in 2020. Delegates will be called to investigate the basic issues of climate change that have progressed in the intervening years, all the while remaining aware of the political consequences of the summit, which coincides with the American presidential election of 2020. This committee will utilize some crisis committee-style updates to portray the passage of time, and the gradual slippage of the environment into abandon.
Chair: Eva Zhang
A devastating famine currently cripples South Sudan. Several billion dollars in aid are needed, and quickly. The United Nations Development Programme’s crisis response team has urged this special session to create a comprehensive resolution addressing the famine while keeping in mind the legacy of the country's civil war. The best resolutions will not only address the current famine, but seek to prevent future famines, and set up mechanisms for future use.
The second topic addresses infant industries in South America. Largely formed within the last century, these home-grown industries are small players on the global stage. They largely receive positive political support at home, and in some cases high levels of protection. The UNDP needs to ensure that these industries are sustainable and equitable.
Chair: Ed Yu
The United Nations Environmental Programme coordinates the environmental policies of the UN, with a particular focus on assisting developing countries in their efforts to sustainably develop with concern for the environment. This committee will focus on these issues of sustainable development, with particular regard to deforestation, ocean acidification, and other issues related to climate change. Case studies include the Great Barrier Reef and the Amazon rainforest. The committee will be challenging, and will seek to tackle issues from more than a simple utilitarian framework.
Chair: Priya Chatwani
Established in 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) was adopted into the United Nations in order to regulate global health matters and influence the objectives of health research. The first topic, genomics, is “the study of genes and their functions, and related techniques.” Genomics paves the way for more personalized medicine, and can help prevent and treat epidemics, non-communicable diseases, and drug resistant bacteria. The legal, ethical, and moral concerns of genomics must be addressed, ranging from personal genetic data and the equitable distribution of the technology.
The second topic is superbugs, or “multidrug-resistant bacteria,” which are bacteria that cannot be killed by multiple antibiotics. Any species of bacteria can turn into a superbug, and the single leading contributor to this problem is the overuse of antibiotics in humans and livestock. Eventually, doctors could run out of antibiotics to treat infections and superbugs. The WHO has issued warnings regarding the future dangers of superbugs, and because new antibiotics may not be developed in time, a solution is of the utmost urgency.
SMUNC has hired a shuttle to transport delegates and advisors between the Stanford Oval and the Sheraton Hotel. The shuttle will run during the assigned times.
Please note that the schedule is subject to change due to other events on campus, particularly on Friday night. We will be handing out a finalized schedule during check-in, and we will notify you immediately of any changes to the schedule during the conference.
Friday, November 10
3:00pm – 5:30pm
Committee Session #1
7:00pm – 9:30pm
Advisor Meeting #1
9:30pm – 11:00pm
Saturday, November 11
8:00am – 9:30 am
Committee Session #2
9:30am to 12:30pm
Committee Session #3
2:00pm – 5:00pm
Advisor Meeting #2
2:30pm – 3:30pm
5:00pm – 6:30pm
Committee Session #4
8:30pm – 12:00am
Sunday, November 12
8:00am – 10:00am
Committee Session #5
10:00am – 12:00pm
Advisor Meeting #3
10:30am – 11:00am
12:45pm – 2:00pm
2:00pm – 4:00pm
Ben is a member of the class of 2019, majoring in History. He has been doing Model UN since his freshman year of high school, and attended SMUNC three times as a delegate. He chaired DISEC at SMUNC 2015 and was Deputy Secretary General for SMUNC 2016. He is an active member of Stanford's Model UN team, with which he has traveled around the country for MUN conferences. Ben remains engaged with the Bay Area MUN community, having staffed or directed six high school crisis committees.
Anjali is a member of the Class of 2020 and is currently studying Mechanical Engineering. She's done Model UN since her freshman year of high-school and loves it for its community and its ability to expand the perspectives of its participants. Last year, she was Co-Chair for the Cabinet of Ukraine. Anjali continues to actively participate in Stanford's Model UN team.
Vincent Nicandro is a sophomore at Stanford University majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Classics. He has been a part of Model United Nations for seven years now, having competed in the Southern California conference circuit and winning multiple Best Delegate awards. He was a Crisis Director in SMUNC 2016 and is excited to work as the Under-Secretary General of Crisis Committees this year. Outside of class, Vincent is an active member of the Stanford Model UN Travel Team, Stanford Talisman, an a cappella group on campus, and the Pilipino American Student Union.
Ramarea is a rising junior from Botswana, majoring in Management Science and Engineering. He first got involved with Model UN in 2013 and has been involved in some capacity ever since. Before then, Ramarea was a debater. He is competent in the World Schools Debating Style, the British Parliamentary system and the Longman debate style. He was a Crisis Director for the Ad-hoc Security Council at SMUNC 2015 and was the Chair of the Crisis Committee: The Quest for an African Empire at SMUNC 2016.
Kyu Seo Ahn is a member of the class of 2019 and is majoring in Computer Science. He is a member of the Stanford MUN travel team. He chaired SMUNC 2015’s Saudi Arabia JCC and was Director of Logistics for SMUNC 2016. Kyu Seo aspires to create positive world change through the use of technology. In his free time, Kyu Seo enjoys writing, debating hypotheticals, playing video games, and traveling.
Alex is a freshman (c/o 2020) at Stanford majoring in Mechanical Engineering. He has zero experience with Model UN, but is a great organizer and loves scheduling shuttle buses! In his free time, Alex likes running, playing guitar (John Mayer especially), and mountain climbing.
Maimi Higuchi is a member of the class 2020 and is a prospective major in Human Biology. She has been an active member of the international Model UN community since her sophomore year in high school. In her freshman year in university, she joined the SMUNC team as a crisis staffer and is excited to return as the director of logistics.
Elijah is a freshman at Stanford University intending to major in Philosophy and Computer Science. In high school, he was a debater in Lincoln-Douglas style debates. Since coming to Stanford, he has traveled with Stanford's Model UN team to conferences around the country. He was a Crisis Director for SMUNC 2016, and will be chairing a committee at PACMUN 2017. Beyond Model UN, he is actively involved in the Stanford Harmonics, an a cappella group, and the Jewish community on campus.
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All registration for SMUNC 2017 is now closed. We have reached our capacity and cannot accept more delegates.
This year we are partnering with the Stanford Ticket Office to provide you with an efficient registration and payment system. If you would like to pay by credit card, please click here. If you would like to pay by check, please fill out this form, email it to email@example.com, and mail your check to the address below. Your position at SMUNC is not finalized until we have processed your payment. The early, late and regular fees apply in the time period we receive your payment, and not your registration. All payments are final and there are no refunds.
Location: The Stanford Ticket Office. 425 Santa Teresa Street. Stanford, CA 94305-2250. (Located on the 2nd Floor of Tresidder Memorial Union.)
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10am to 5pm.