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U of T Scarborough students nab awards for public speaking from Model UN

Political Science student Yusuf Bulbulia is vice-president and logistics director for U of T Scarborough's Model United Nations (MUN). Photo by Ali Aghayan.

Not only did U of T Scarborough’s Model United Nations (MUN) recently take one of the biggest teams to the Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN), they also received two commendations for their performance.

Yusuf Bulbulia, U of T Scarborough’s MUN vice-president and logistics director, received a commendation for his debates within the NGO committee, while a second commendation was awarded to Shruti Anandan for her discussions on the status of women.

“Around the time I grew up I saw Obama get elected, I saw the Iraq war. I wondered why is this happening and how did we get here,” says Bulbulia, who joined MUN to enhance and put the knowledge he gained as a political science student to the test.

“I am very interested in what is going on in the world and want to understand the political process.”

MUN gives members an opportunity to engage in public debates about world issues, draft treaties and develop transferable skills such as public speaking.

For Anandan, the HNMUN was only her second conference and the first one where she truly felt confident in her public speaking skills.

“I only spoke twice at my first one but the training sessions through the year were really helpful. Receiving the commendation made me a little bit more confident, reaffirming the fact that it’s okay to put yourself out there,” Anandan said. 

Just as Anandan brings her international development studies (IDS) knowledge to MUN debates, she takes the self-confidence developed from her experiences at MUN and injects it back into the classroom during presentations and class discussions.

The skills that Anandan built through her conference experiences are exactly what MUN president German Guberman wants for every member and what he gained during his initial venture into the organization. 

“I found new skills that I didn’t have such as public speaking, negotiating and thinking on my feet. Now I participate in class and I even enjoy hearing myself speak, I didn’t do that before,” says Guberman, a third-year IDS and political science student.

MUN has become a borderless hub that provides like-minded people the opportunity to connect with one another to build a worldwide network concerned with international development. 

That’s not all, MUN has been fundamental to the lives of Bulbulia, Anandan and Guberman as it transformed them into better versions of themselves.   

“Through MUN you get an understanding of who you are as a person,” Bulbulia says. “It shapes your experiences and who you are, as well as your perspectives and how you see the world.” 


© University of Toronto Scarborough