Now, It’s Our Turn: BrewMUNCE Faces Down Challenge of Hosting


Much like their political counterparts, these Model UN members won’t give up in the face of adversity and would never let a pandemic slow them down and break their stride.

Diana Vink, Editorial Board

This year, the Model UN was greeted with a daunting task: deciding what to do with the conference they usually held in the fall. BrewMUNC, annually held in November, is a conference run by Brewster’s Model United Nations club in which delegates from schools in the surrounding area attend and participate in lively debate on a wide variety of historical and contemporary matters. Like so many other events, though, the pandemic saw BrewMUNC forced to occur digitally rather than in-person as it normally would, challenging the Model UN members to bring the usual excitement and fun to a digital setting.
Having to adjust the format and procedures of BrewMUNC, the Model UN saw it fit to push back the event until the spring. On March 6th, members of Brewster’s Model UN gathered safely at our high school in order to run the conference as smoothly as possible, joined by members of North Salem High School’s Model UN to aid the process. BrewMUNC consisted of four committees, each covering a unique topic: the 2020 European Union conversations on immigration, the ongoing battle between tech giants AMD and Intel, the fight against the British Raj for Indian Independence, and the 1950s tensions that escalated the Cold War. At the high school, the staffers behind the scenes had to work together to run their individual committees, all while working with new platforms and combating various technological issues.
“It was definitely a challenge,” Kennedy LaMoreaux, one of the Directors of Conferences for the Model UN, told me. In this role, Kennedy is responsible for a lot of the coordinations behind the conference: selecting committees, communicating with schools, and registering delegates from their Model UN clubs. “Learning how to run the conference digitally was a great way to expand the scope and accessibility of our conference,” she said. “Even as we transition back into in-person events, we hope to continue to rely on these tools to increase participation in BrewMUNC from schools around the country.”
Originally, each committee was intended to have their debate on Zoom, with certain committees also using Discord as a means of communication between delegates, but the staffers encountered some technical difficulties regarding the use of Zoom and most committees were forced to make a mid-conference switch to using Discord as a means of debate. “I was lucky enough to have background knowledge of Discord, so it was really a matter of creating things on the fly and smoothing out logistics as we went, but it was certainly not preferred,” remarked Jasmine Cabral, the other Director of Conferences for the club, who took on the hefty responsibility of managing technological issues during the conference. “I’d say regardless of how prepared you are, there will always be issues technologically with the internet and devices, but it also offered easier organization and communication between our committees. Now that we know what to expect, I’m sure if we need to use Discord again we’ll have an easier time with it.”
Despite the complications, BrewMUNC IV was largely a success. The Model UN was pleased to have nearly 100 delegates in attendance from schools like Canterbury, Pelham, Horace Greeley, and more, and we received a lot of positive feedback from delegates and advisors. For the most part, committees ran smoothly and staffers and delegates had a lot of fun!
The Model UN would like to thank Mr. Mullane for his tireless dedication to the club, Kennedy and Jasmine for their incredible coordination, Mrs. Chalmers for her endless support, and North Salem’s Model UN for their help in staffing.