From March 18–20, duPont Manual attended the Kentucky United Nations Assembly (KUNA), an annual mock United Nations convention for schools all over Kentucky. Manual has attended this assembly for years, and its delegation has grown and improved in accomplishments continuously—this year, Manual’s delegation won the Statesman Award, for a school with great spirit.
To those who are unaware of what exactly KUNA is, it is an assembly where each school in attendance is given a certain number of countries (based on the size of the school); student delegates must serve as representatives from these countries for the duration of the conference.
Each country at KUNA presents an installment in KUNA’s “global village,” which is a decorative setup designed to display the country’s culture; the country’s flag; a placard with the school’s name that is visually representative of the country; a bill proposal for a social problem related to the country; and, on occasion, a performance on KUNA’s “global stage,” where cultural dances, literature readings, and other cultural displays occur. This year, because of Manual’s growing Y-Club, its delegation was given three countries: Saudi Arabia, China, and Cote D’Ivoire.
Emily Wilbar (10) said KUNA exceeded what she was expecting. “I attempt to describe to people what we did during assembly—I could never bring it to justice,” she said. “It was honestly the best high school experience I’ve had thus far.”
At KUNA, students attend Committee Meetings, Summit Meetings, and meetings of the conference’s General Assembly to vote on UN proposals; Manual’s Saudi Arabia and Cote D’Ivoire proposals both made it to Summits. Saudi Arabia proposed a plan for building wind turbines and producing alternative wind energy, and Cote D’Ivoire proposed educational reforms.
Y-Clubbers Joseph Dahmer (11) and Matthew McCardwell (11) won a Speaker Award and an award for dedication for Manual, respectively. Near the end of the conference, KUNA leaders announced those students accepted to the YMCA’s Y Corps summer service learning program, which included Mara Atherton (9), Elizabeth Penava (11), Kathryn Hardesty (11), Nora Mattingly (10), and Jenna Farineau (10).
Following the conference’s formal festivities, a dance and other informal social events take place. At the end of the night, Manual holds a “hallway meeting,” which on the second night of the conference is a chance for seniors to say their goodbyes to the club and to underclassmen.
Senior and Y-Clubber Clancy Morton was emotional attending her last KUNA. “I thought it was really bittersweet. It was sad it was my last one, but I feel like we are leaving the delegation in good hands,” she said. “We have amazing juniors who will do a wonderful job.”
“I wouldn’t trade the time I spent during that three-day period at KUNA or the relationships I built from Y-Club for anything,” Wilbar said.