Paulino creates controlled chaos in MUN circuit

Alexa Lim, Spotlight Editor

The year is 2050, global warming is at an all time high and so are the water levels. Japan is being drenched in water and with no more oil, they’re left with only one choice: cut off the world’s natural resources and reserves, effectively leaving it in shambles. 

This is the type of issue that Jherica Paulino, a junior at Liberty, frequently faces as the Secretary-General and Model United Nations (MUN) president.

“MUN is essentially international diplomacy, and they help solve the biggest issues in our world, such as food security and environmental change,” Paulino said. “But being in MUN also gives you the freedom to potentially make wars and assassinate people, which can make conferences really chaotic.” 

All chaos needs a guiding force, which is Paulino’s role as the Washington International Model United Nations (WAIMUN) Secretary-General, also known as the leader of the entire organization. Despite this being her main role, there are also other times when she acts as the director of other committees within MUN. 

“My first secretariat position was Educational Model United Nations (EDMUN) Under Secretary-General (USG) of Delegate Affairs and my role was to oversee external operations by sending out thousands of emails and assigning people to their countries,” said Paulino. 

Paulino joined MUN in freshman year and has been the president ever since. Over the course of three years, she has attended 17 MUN conferences, including ones that aren’t directly associated with the school. 

“I was initially interested in the fact that I could go to these overnight conferences and get a chance to talk to people outside of school about topics that unify people,” Paulino said. 

 While advancing through the MUN circuit, Paulino has held numerous titles such as WAIMUN Chief of Staff and Pacific Model United Nations (PACMUN) USG of Regional Bodies, which she still holds today. 

“At first, I thought ‘Oh this is kind of nerdy and gross’,” Paulino said, “but after I started getting into it, I really enjoyed this idea of controlled chaos.” 

As the current Secretary-General, Paulino leads MUN conferences and always makes it a point to create an environment of lively debate and general chaos. She’s accompanied by her side-man, junior and WAIMUN Chief of Staff Shelby Mallard. Together, they’re working to get more people involved in the MUN circuit. 

“One time we put on a MUN conference for middle schoolers, and to make it fun, we had the middle schoolers write their countries on bananas,” Mallard said. “Everytime they wanted to speak they had to hold up bananas.”  

In addition to being the head of Liberty’s MUN club, Paulino is spearheading WAIMUN to focus on the environment and sustainability through debates and acts of service. 

“WAIMUN was a big stepping stone for me, since it was the conference where I was first clueless about MUN, and now it’s where I have the highest position,” Paulino said. 

Until now, most Liberty MUN members didn’t try out for positions in the MUN circuit, since it had constantly been dominated by the same schools. As the Secretary-General, Paulino has had the power to change that narrative and pave the way for new voices. 

“Along with DECA, being in MUN has made me want to pursue law and ethics, international business, business law, and other things relevant to those topics,” Paulino said. 

Colleges allow for students to participate in MUN on a larger scale and get the chance for an internship at the UN, which is one of Paulino’s many aspirations, 

“Yes, I am sleep deprived, but I love controlled chaos,” Paulino said.