Wien residents may have noticed catered goods and earnestness currently occupying the first floor lounge. The cause celebre is a buffet dinner to mark the completion of successful year of a conference of acronyms aplenty: CIRCA, is the Columbia International Relations Council and Association, and they hosted the Columbia Model United Nations Conference and Exposition, or CMUNCE, which is pronounced like the novelty pet.
There were 362 high school participants in this year’s conference, which differs from typical Model United Nations conferences because the committees are not UN-based. Jon Hollander, CC ’10, explain that this gave organizers the freedom to create more interesting situations. One example from this year: The Israeli committee was instructed to purchase weapons from the plastic gun-toting Mafia committee. “The weapons were to fight the Arabs,” said Hollander. However Israel inexplicably wound up entangled in a Middle Eastern drug ring, and “the Mafia kidnapped Israel instead.”
There were nearly 80 Columbia University students who organized the conference and one from City College. “He’s dating someone from Columbia,” Scott St. Marie, CIRCA’s treasurer, explained.
For four days, the high schoolers and organized capitalized on what was described as a copious fake-blood supply, took turns riding a broom-turned-horse (“Everyone rode that horse this weekend,” said St. Marie), and used fake guns to their advantage. The one rule? According to St. Marie: “Don’t touch the delegates; you can’t touch the high school students.” Andrew, another organizer, walked by and made air quotes with his fingers. “Touching,” he laughed.
Hollander and Maria Insalaco, CC ’09, cited this year’s CMUNCE as the most successful in its seven year history. “Should we tell her about the door?” Hollander asked Insalaco under his breath. “No, Hamilton facilities will just find that out,” she answered.