KO Model UN, a conference led by Upper School students for middle schoolers from all over the state, took place for the sixth time on March 10 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. KO Model UN, a conference led by Upper School students for middle schoolers from all over the state, took place for the sixth time on March 10 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
KOMUN was started by history teacher Stacey Savin after she taught a Model UN summer program for middle school students at the John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth in 2011. When Ms. Savin came back from California, she talked to Head of School Dennis Bisgaard and Director of the Teaching and Learning Jane Repp. The first year was such a hit that KO continued this program.Students from the Upper School lead the conference.
“It’s a good way for new students that have never done it to see how it works,” said Ms. Savin. “You don’t necessarily have to have Model UN experience to be one of the chairs.” KOMUN did not just involve students from KO: students from twelve different schools around the area came, such as Hamden, Madison, Tolland, Hartford, Windsor, West Hartford, Glastonbury, and more. Even one school in Massachusetts registered, but then they couldn’t attend because it conflicted with their spring break.
KOMUN is modeled after the Yale Conference that KO attends every year. Students from each school are given delegations from different countries. The countries that were represented in KOMUN were Canada, China, Germany, Great Britain, India, Iran, Israel, and Japan to name a few. Then those students were split up into their respective topics to discuse three different topics.
This year, the topics were Due Process of Law, Public Health and the Global Burden of Disease (GBD), and Nuclear Proliferation. “It was amazing to see young middle school students come up with such mature and intelligent solutions to real world issues,” said junior Amy Mistri. Junior chair Ben Small agreed. “It was interesting to see young students address complicated issues with great poise, accomplishment, and engagement,” he said.
Each school represented a certain number of countries. One student representing each country was put into one of the rooms based on a topic. The students were put into nine different rooms.
Three rooms were dedicated to each committee, and each committee came up with two to three resolutions. Each group handed in the resolutions that they created to the chairs. Then the chairs typed them up, introduced it, and then everyone voted.
KOMUN concluded with an awards ceremony. Each committee gave four awards: two awards for honorable mention, one for outstanding delegate, and one for best delegate.“The conference offers middle school students a unique opportunity to learn about international relations and debate and discuss with their peers,” Ben said.