Model United Nations Kicks off the Year at St. John’s High School

(left to right) Linda Chen '19, Jane D'Abate '19, Ellie Barry '19, Gabby Landry '18, and Caroline Churney '19 debated at St. John's High School Model United Nations Conferences in October.

(left to right) Linda Chen '19, Jane D'Abate '19, Ellie Barry '19, Gabby Landry '18, and Caroline Churney '19 debated at St. John's High School Model United Nations Conferences in October.

Gabby Landry '18, Editor-in-Chief

Not many high school students can solve global problems like the Zika virus, women’s education, worldwide energy, problems within the African Union, and other pressing issues in a single weekend.  But that’s what Model United Nations (MUN) members across the country do at conferences throughout the year.  During a conference, MUN members represent a country or a person in a committee discussing a specific issue, and work with other “delegates” to propose a solution to the problem in a resolution paper.

On Saturday, October 22nd, Montrose MUN members kicked off the year with their first conference, at St. John’s High School in Shrewsbury.  Students who attended were: Sylvia Shi ‘20, Linda Chen ‘19, Caroline Churney ‘19, Jane D’Abate ‘19, Ellie Barry ‘19, and myself.  

Both new and returning members had a blast at the conference.  Linda Chen ‘19 was part of UN Women, representing Pakistan on the issue of women’s education.  She said, “We didn’t get any scores on our performance, so I could really relax and have fun, while simultaneously getting some experience for my next conference.”  She added, “This committee helped me gain more knowledge about women’s situation in the world.”

Caroline Churney ‘19 represented the United States in UN Energy, where she worked with other delegates to propose solutions for sustainable energy.  She told me, “I liked meeting new people and forming alliances with them. During unmoderated discussions, our allied group clustered around and discussed ways to pass our ideas through a working paper. I also learned a lot more about the pressing concerns surrounding sustainable energy.”  

Jane D’Abate ‘19 shared her experience representing Guinea in a committee on the Development of the African Union.  “The conference went really well and I absolutely loved it. We discussed prospects of transportation, sanitation, and education to improve the economy as well as quality of life within the African Union. I learned much about the history of Guinea, specifically Guinea’s recent independence from France (1958) and the democracy it has successfully established. My favorite part was having my resolution paper amended and passed; really interesting feedback and I loved the teamwork and collaboration, even in the midst of controversial debates,” she said.

My experience was extremely positive as well.  I represented Papua New Guinea in the World Health Organization, discussing the Zika virus.  I learned a lot through my research before the conference, and it all came together as the other delegates and I began debating.  I collaborated with several other delegates—including the United States, the European Commission, and Venezuela—to write a resolution paper proposing a solution to this global health crisis.  In the end, our resolution passed, beating two others on the floor.

Overall, Montrose MUN members thoroughly enjoyed the first conference of the year.  We look forward to our next conferences, Catholic Memorial in November and St. John’s Prep in December, and the global issues we can “resolve” then!