History relived at Model UN conference


Karla Enriquez

Cerritos Model UN Head Delegate Bianca Salgado, left, in the role of Stefano Magaddino and Jerry Reynoso, right, as Frank Costello in the The Commission committee at LAMUN. The conference took place at the Hilton in Universal City. Photo credit: Karla Enriquez

Karla Enriquez

“There’s 20 of you and we haven’t found one rat in three days, ” The Commission’s Chair Shankar Chelliah shouted across the hotel conference room.

Chelliah was one of the many proctors who took part in LAMUN, a Model United Nations conference put on by UCLA, from Thursday to Sunday, in which Cerritos College took part.

Colleges such as UC Berkeley, and University of Southern California participated, making Cerritos one of the few community colleges in attendance.

The “rat” Chelliah was referring to was one of the assigned students who participated in this simulation, which focused on the American Mafia made up of the New York Five Families’ bosses starting in 1933.

Cerritos College’s Head Delegate Bianca Salgado and Jerry Reynoso participated in this committee as Frank Costello and Stefano Magaddino, a Sicilian mafioso who became the boss of the Buffalo crime family.

Like The Commission other committees were held inside the Hilton Hotel in Universal City.

New York 1980, focused on the genesis of the human immunodeficiency virus (AIDS) and the misrepresentation of gay men in that decade as the disease spread.

Political Science major Karen Guzman, who has attended other Model United Nations conferences participated in the dynamic committee.

She expressed that not only did the delegates focus on how the virus came about and how it spread, but they also talked about how to resolve issues behind the subject, and how to have President Reagan in office, from 1981 to 1989, acknowledge the issue.

“I learned to go in with an open mind and not take things personal. You’re playing a role and representing [either] a country or a leader and you bring out that character’s accomplishments and failures to make it real and play out history one more time,” Guzman said.

“[…] These conferences shaped me to learn so much about not just our country but issues around the world.”

New York 1980, culminated in a lesbian couple sharing a kiss and announcing that they would combat AIDS together.

On the general assembly front, The Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC) was one of the most populated committees, where few seats were left empty in the middle section of Ballroom A.

DISEC included all members of the United Nations and it discussed drug cartels in Latin America and the trafficking of small arms.

For two days and a half, the committee focused on the weapon flow from North America to Latin America and how the trafficking of weapons invites violence and disintegration of law in Latin America.

Cerritos had the most participants in DISEC, with six participants in dual delegations representing countries like Germany, and Switzerland.

Countries took their turn to present resolutions indicating what they recommended to bring stability to the affected countries.

For Veronica Recinos, a business woman, it was her first time participating in this committee and the conference.

Recinos said “For me because I am a business person, the structure of how this is put together was something amazing.”

Likewise, Guzman stated, “[…] Model United Nations has been one of the greatest things I’ve accomplished in college.”