2016/2017: A Committee in review

A Homage to the 2016/2017 Executive Committee

The 2017/2018 Executive Committee thanks and expresses its sincere appreciation towards our outgoing predecessors. This is an encomium to all the achievements of those who have guided the Kent Model United Nations Society throughout the bygone academic year.

“When the best leader’s work is done the people say,
‘We did it ourselves.” 

                                                                                   – Lao-Tzu

PRESIDENT: SILJE MARTIN OLSSON

To lead a society the size of KentMUN and the largest committee in the society’s history for an entire year is no simple task by any means. But to do so with grace, passion and sagacity is truly remarkable. Throughout the 2016-2017 academic year, Silje directed the Society to new heights through dedication, inclusion, vision and leadership. She served not only as a President, but also as a role model.

As President, she organized an incredibly successful Freshers Fair, Weekly Trainings and Annual General Meeting. During her entire tenure, Silje provided unconditional support, direction and warmth to the society members, attending countless weekly meetings, head delegate interviews and conference preparation meetings.

In her dénouement as president, Silje was instrumental in pushing for the establishment of a KentMUN conference, and instituted constitutional amendments to increase the efficiency of the Executive Committee. Closer ties were forged with the School of Politics and the University employability office, and the society was awarded best academic society of the year. In the same spirit, she undertook all efforts to welcome the new committee with open arms and ease it into its role at the head of the society.

We are extremely thankful to Silje for dedicating all her blood, sweat and tears into leading the Kent Model United Nations Society forward, as Vice President in the 2015/2016 academic year and President in the 2016/2017 academic year. On a personal scale, having worked closely with Silje over the past two years, I can confidently say that in few other people will you find as steadfast, caring and intelligent a friend, and I have faith that she will succeed whatever her next pursuits may be.

By Simeon Onaji

VICE PRESIDENT: SIMEON ONAJI

Now the longest serving committee member in KentMUN history, our former Vice President Simeon Onaji has served the University of Kent’s Model UN society for three years with distinction. It is his incredible dedication to the wellbeing of the society and all its members that defines those three years of service. In his role as Vice President, Simeon exemplified the values of Kent Model UN to members and observers alike and additionally shaped the society into its current state.

Despite his executive position, Simeon showed the importance of leading by example. A reliable presence at all weekly meetings, he was just as comfortable debating and negotiating alongside his fellow society members as he was directing them. Simeon can boast an impressive 6 awards out of a possible 7 over the course of his university Model UN career, and it is his experience and his approachability together that made him instrumental as a role model for new members. His personal acceptance of both the Kent Union Role Model of the Year award in the academic year 2015/2016 and Union Outstanding Contribution of the Year award in the academic year 2016/2017 show the larger role Model UN members can play in Kent’s community.

Additionally, the society would not have its current standing without our former Vice President. Simeon can be proud of an innovative Freshers fair events and a smoothly run Annual General Meeting, but he showed vision in his diligence to secure the society’s future. The society looks forward to seeing the result of last year’s impressive groundwork in the form of the first ever University of Kent Model UN conference.

On behalf of the society he has worked so hard for thus far, we wish Simeon Onaji the best of luck in his upcoming presidential term but we are confident he does not need it.

By Justin Koeiman

GENERAL SECRETARY: EINAR HOLMEDAL 

An enormous thanks to our former General Secretary, Einar, for his outstanding work for KentMUN. Einar has been diligent in keeping a record of the committee meetings and KentMUN’s activities. He has been professional and his commitment has been of utmost importance to the society.

As General secretary, he has been constantly on the job by taking minutes of the committee meetings and sharing them in order to inform the rest of the committee and the wider society members of recent developments and plans for the upcoming weeks. He was always there to make sure that events and projects run smoothly and efficiently. He has been a keystone of the society, being always present at every meetings and events. Without him there wouldn’t be a proper organization or record of the society’s activities.

It is for these reasons that we would like to congratulate with him. We wish he will continue in this way and, so doing, we are sure he will reach all the goals he promised himself.

By Emanuele Errichiello 

DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS: AGATHE HUGEL

A sincere thank you to our former Communications Director, Agathe Hugel, for her outstanding work in making our social media presence accessible to both our members and prospective members of KentMUN. Agathe has done an incredible job in updating the membership of our weekly meetings and events at a difficult period for the society, whereby we neither had access to our website, twitter or our main Facebook page. She has displayed great professionalism and her dedication and commitment has been of immense help to the entire KentMUN society.

As our Facebook and Email administrator, she has been constantly on the job by promoting events, responding to messages and constantly keeping members informed. You could be sure to see her at the society’s events. And even so, reducing her role to “Director of Communications” would be candidly unjust; for throughout the entire academic year, Agathe often attended and chaired MUN training sessions. She was always there to help and to ensure society events and projects ran smoothly and efficiently.

Under her watch, the KentMUN delegation to OxiMUN achieved one of the most exceptional results in the KentMUN’s history by winning no less than 6 awards out of a possible 8 at the prestigious Oxford International Model United Nations conference. We are forever thankful to Agathe for all her contributions to the society over the years, and we wish her great luck for all her future endeavors.

By Simeon Onaji

DIRECTOR OF TRAINING: LEA PAVLOVIC

Participating in MUN can often be a daunting task for beginners, the amount of preparation, Public speaking and debating skills can also be hard to demonstrate and teach. As the Director of Recruitment and Mentoring for 2016-2017, Lea Pavlovic has done a magnificent job in mentoring beginners and introducing new members to Kent Model United Nations. The task she was given is one of the most difficult role in MUN. Lea tackled her responsibility head on and as a result of her hard work and dedication, the society has grown and many new members have stayed on and improved thanks to her mentorship. We are thankful for all she has done for us and were extremely lucky to have Lea be a part of our Society.

Lea has been an inspiration to many beginners and experts in MUN. As one of the society’s best “MUNers”, Lea was an active member of this society. If she was not chairing, she was participating in the weekly meetings. She provided support and encouragement to newer members which helped fulfil their potential.   In further recognition of being one of the best members in our Society, Lea often won awards at multiple MUN conferences while representing Kent Model United Nations. Her talent in debating, public speaking and negotiation where among the best and will serve her well in future endeavors. We wish her all the best!

By Mojahid Hussain 

DIRECTOR OF CONFERENCES: VALERIA MINISINI

Conferences are an important aspect of Model United Nations. As the Director of Conferences, Valeria Minisini has done a brilliant job in ensuring that the society is able to enjoy such experiences. The Director of Conference’s has a crucial task of working behind the scenes to make sure that members of the society are able to attend conferences. This role demands a lot of time and effort and thus is a colossal responsibility. Valeria rose to the task and handled her duties brilliantly, setting an example for future committee members.  Valeria was also a regular face at the societies’ weekly meetings. Often either chairing or participating and helping beginner members learn the ropes.

During this upcoming 2017-2018 year, Valeria will be serving as the first Secretary General of the KentMUN. Valeria will no doubt make our Society proud by making our first conference a success. She has already proved her impressive leadership, organisational and planning skills as a member of the 2016-2017 executive. We would like to thank her for all she has done for the committee and will do as secretariat and wish her all the best in future endeavors.

By Mojahid Hussain 

DIRECTOR OF FINANCE: NICK FANTON

To handle the finances of any organisation is a monumental task, and one of the most time-consuming, tedious, and yet, crucial duties one can take up. It is no different in the case of a university society, especially if said society happens to be one of the largest academic society on campus, and one with as much international acclaim. To complete this task with consistency, passion, and above all, patience, is an even greater challenge, especially when faced with the constant troubles of a student’s life, one which I believe Nick has met and far surpassed.

As the Director of Finance of the Kent Model United Nations Society for the academic year of 2016-17, Nick has led the financial side of our society through a difficult period in a manner befitting a seasoned professional. He was able to make the best of what finances we had, and, in spite of the hurdles the society faced last year, still make it possible for us to take part in as many activities as we could at as cheap a price as was humanely possible, given the circumstances. He has provided unconditional and limitless support to the members, especially to those of us who were new to the MUN game.

In his time as the Director of Finance, Nick was part of the committee that laid the groundwork for Kent MUN’s first conference. He was a regular face in the weekly meetings, where he chaired many of the General Assemblies that the society held, something that gave much of us the well-needed knowledge and confidence to shine in our activities. His efforts as Director of Finance were instrumental in pushing KentMUN forward to win the award for the best academic society of the year.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to Nick for all the effort he put in and all the difficulties he no doubt took on to ensure that we the members had the best time possible, and for his work in taking the society forward, as the Director of Finance in the academic year of 2016-17. I, personally, owe him a great deal for giving me the push I needed to contend for the position as his successor, for the unwavering faith he has had, and still has, that I can do justice to his position, and for the invaluable advice he has given me during the transition.  I and the Committee would like to wish Nick all the best with his future endeavors.

By Vishnu Nair

SOCIAL SECRETARY: NIALL HOPKINSON 

We would like to extend our deepest appreciation to Niall for all his hard work and effort in making MUN great last year, he was an indispensable cog in the MUN machine and we appreciated the socials, the time and heart that you put in to making MUN worthwhile for us. We hope he had a good year and a smashing holiday break, organising his own socials.

A personal favorite of mine was the after-party after the KentMUN one-day conference, I really appreciate the effort in getting me through loft in my pajamas and flip-flops, in hindsight I should have been better prepared for a night out. You were a fantastic Social Secretary and I hope to continue on your great work through this academic year. The break the wall social was also a great Idea and don’t hate on me, but I am looking to copy that and do it again! We would like to wish Niall all the best for the future.

By Dylan Crasto

DIRECTOR OF OUTREACH:SARAH GRIPPAY

As Director of External Affairs Sarah made the Kent Model United Nations Society known and recognised as the wonderful team that it is. She represented us to other organisations and various companies in a professional, confident and ever enthusiastic manner. She worked with film students to create a video that inspired members to join our society. It brought together all dimensions of our team, from the skills that we gain through our activities, to the friendships that we foster. The video served to be a perfect representation of Kent Model United Nations, and thus an effective tool to allow us to reach out, and to let the external world know about the great things that we do. Sarah channelled the love that she has for Kent Model United Nations to complete a massive job, and succeeded. We are all thankful!

The care that Sarah approaches Kent Model United Nations with is evident in her role within the society. Sarah brings delegates together and allows diplomacy to happen. It stops being a simulation to us, and it becomes an act of friendship. As member of the MUN family, Sarah has participated at our general meetings, as well as at numerous conferences. We are grateful to her for contributing to making the society the fantastic way that it is and wish her the very best of luck with her future endeavors.

By Polina Bishenden 

DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT: EUGENIE DELZENNE

Eugenie has been a valuable member of the Kent Model United Nations Team. In the academic year 2016-17, her role in the Executive Committee made the society welcoming and exciting. Her confidence allowed her to complete her role as Director of Development in the best way. Members democratically communicated their interests, and debates were formed around them. Increased communication within our society allowed Kent Model United Nations to truly develop and grow as a family.

We also thank her for the training sessions that she helped to provide to those that were new to Model United Nations. Those that were beginners became confident under her guidance. Her understanding and care in approaching delegates made this very guidance the best that it could be.

Model United Nations changes its members, allows them to gain more skills, and Eugenie’s work, in all its forms, has contributed to this. Eugenie, we thank you once again. For being ready, strong and creative, and helping the society to develop not only for the better, but for the best. The Kent Model United Nations Society is waiting with excitement to hear of the successes that are on your horizon.

Polina Bishenden

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