Written by: Ben Atlas
On March 30 and 31, four students represented Gunn for the first time at the World Affairs Council with two students, Anu Rajan and Varun Bhadkamkar, winning awards. The World Affairs Council is a conference of students and teachers devoted to discussing global current events. The two-day conference simulated a diplomatic symposium formed to discuss exploitation of the Arctic. Guest speakers, such as head of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Charles Bolden, gave speeches pertaining to world afairs. According to World Form club advisor Lauren Cory, after listening to the speeches, students assumed the characters of world leaders and attempted to work out real-world problems through formal debate.
Cory was given scholarships to send a few students from Gunn to the Council. “I was contacted and asked if I knew of any students who are very interested in global affairs and who might also be interested in attending the conference sponsored by World Affairs Council,” Cory said. “I suggested [juniors] Devyani Bhadkamkar, Varun Bhadkamkar, Anu Rajan and [senior] Karen Camacho.”
Rajan received an award for her position paper. “We write position papers before the conference portraying our stance as the political figure or group we represent,” she said. Rajan represented RAIPON (Russian Association of Indiginous People of the North) during the debate-oriented conference.
According to Rajan, the conference was divided into two parts: talks from famous figures on current events and a conference of high school and college students. The partitioned style worked to enhance the overall experience and draw a clear link between real-world events and the simulation.
Bhadkamkar won two awards, one for best position paper and one for best delegation, while representing the Athabaskan Council.
Both winners talked to some of the guest speakers in recognition of their achievements, such as Bolden as well as a venture capitalist and authors of influential books. Both thoroughly enjoyed the conference. “The World Affairs conference was educational and informative,” Bhadkamkar said. “It was cool to talk to such accomplished people.