Montrose Participates in Model UN Conference at BC High

Last Saturday, members of the Middle and Upper School Model UN clubs participated in a conference hosted by BC High. Participants were given committee topics to choose, ranging from the global pandemic response to the situation with Uighur Muslims in China, and were assigned a nation to represent.  

Leading up to the conference, participants researched information about their assigned country, their topic, and their country’s position on the topic. The research helped participants to understand more about not only the present situation of their country and their committee topic, but also the history of their country, and their countries’ relationship to past major events. Throughout the conference, delegates debated according to their countries views, and aimed to come up with a resolution that would solve the problem and represent their country in the best way possible based on their countries views, financial situation, and history.  Caroline Shannon ‘23 commented: “I really enjoyed my committee because it is such a relevant topic right now. It was fun to team up with other people, hear different arguments, and compromise a solution that would benefit as many people as possible.” 

Schools competed from across the New England area – from Massachusetts to New Hampshire. The conference got off to a great start with opening ceremonies presented by BC High. Speakers included BC High’s principal and the leaders of their Model UN club, who talked about their Model UN experience and the importance of compromising while still holding strong to your country’s views.  Then, it was off to the first committee sessions, where relevant topics were discussed and debated. 

Each committee started with the opening of a speakers list: countries who would like to speak raised their hands and were put on a list by the chair. Then, each spoke on his/her country’s position on the topic. This was a great opportunity for first time Model UNers, especially since they were just speaking on a fundamental part of research: your country’s position. Then,  moderated caucuses started, in which each delegation had an opportunity to discuss their countries’ views on a proposed topic for a predetermined amount of time. For example, one of the proposed topics in the committee on Uighur Muslims was on countries’ economic ties to China. 

Following a break for lunch, the second round of committee sessions began.  Participants worked in blocs (alliances formed between countries with similar views) to develop a resolution paper, which was later to be voted on by all countries in the committee.   The conference concluded with closing ceremonies that included a list of awards that would be awarded; we later found out that Maevis Fahey ‘21 won best delegate in her committee on Wet Markets in China – congratulations Maevis!

Due to the pandemic, BC High hosted the conference virtually, but thanks to the help of our wonderful faculty advisor, Mrs. Forsgard, we were able to come together at Montrose and connect by Zoom to the conference. Meeting together at Montrose was especially helpful since we could discuss our topics and committees.  In our committees,  we made the most of Zoom by utilizing features such as the private chat (to send messages and form alliances with fellow delegates), breakout rooms (for unmoderated caucuses), and the share screen feature (to see working papers).  Maevis Fahey ‘21 said: “The Montrose girls who participated were awesome! We bonded over our shared nerves and uplifted one another constantly. This was one of my favorite conferences ever — especially because we had the opportunity to compete from our own classrooms.”

This was also the Middle School Model UN club’s first conference. Representing many countries, including the U.S., Australia, and Malaysia, committees discussed Australian wildfires.  All middle schoolers agreed that it was a fun learning experience, and they will definitely want to attend more conferences in the future. Raquel del Rio ’25 said: “ I met a lot of kids my age outside of school and even stayed in contact with some. It’s an amazing opportunity if your friendships are limited to those you meet in class.” Ella Efeturk ‘25 added: “It was my first conference and I met some amazing and gifted people there. It was good for me to practice public speaking about topics that I happen to also be passionate about. Having different discussions on hard topics such as climate change was very compelling, and I learned more about the importance of taking action.”

Not only is Model UN a fun club, it is also a great opportunity to evolve into a better public speaker. A lot of times people struggle with the art of public speaking. But, just like many other skills, public speaking takes practice, and joining the Model UN Club is a perfect way to gain that practice while receiving support from friends and other delegates.

Even if you choose to go to a conference and don’t speak and just listen,  Model UN is a great way to meet new people from different grades and different schools, develop confidence, gain insight and perspective on world events. Spandana Vagwala ‘22 agreed by saying: “It’s a great club to learn debate/compromise skills and also learn about current and historical events!”  When asked if she would recommend Model UN to other students, Raquel del Rio ‘25 responded: “I would! You may feel lost in the beginning, and for the most part, you don’t really need to contribute if you’re nervous or shy. But I encourage trying it out just once, because you may love it and want to go on to do it all through high school!”


Olivia Lipson ‘25 and Gabriella Dansereau ‘26, Staff Writers