The King School campus was buzzing as students from all four grades in the Upper School participated in King’s annual, student-run Model United Nations Conference on October 24. Organized by the eleventh and twelfth grade participants, the conference served to train members for upcoming conferences at Brown and Harvard Universities.
“This year, we had two major conferences; one dealt with the Afghanistan crisis, while the other dealt with the arrival of Godzilla along the Japanese coastline,” said Billy Bernfeld ’22, Head Delegate of Model UN. “Although the topics presented were difficult to manage, our delegates used their ingenuity and talents to efficiently address these issues with their peers.”
Armed with background guides, the student members wrote position papers and then debated these issues specific to Afghanistan and Japan in an effort to reach diplomatic solutions.
“In a feat of skillful debate and discussion, they presented various solutions to the crises at hand, coming together to form a committee greater than the sum of its parts,” Billy continued.
Model UN strives to combine educational experience with highly realistic simulations of the United Nations.
“Model UN exposes students to leadership as they deliberate during committees designed along the lines of actual UN committees,” said history and social sciences teacher Christos Galanopoulos. “It exposes them to international affairs and global issues. It opens their minds to the difficulty of diplomacy and international agreements. It provides them with indispensable writing, listening, lobbying, debating, and negotiating skills.”
There were several newcomers to the Model UN experience, and this event was a great success in laying the foundation for future competition.
“I think that the National Security Council of Japan committee was a good experience for learning the basic format of Model UN and parliamentary procedure,” said Ellie Goudie ’22, Head Delegate of Model UN. “It was mostly students new to MUN, and the subject matter, deliberating on how to stop Godzilla, was interesting enough so that they could have a good time, all while learning the ins and outs of a crisis committee.