On Thursday, Jan. 20, KO students attended Yale’s annual Model United Nations conference. Model UN advisor Stacey Savin brought along 37 students who participated in various committees.
“Yale hosts a 4 day conference every single year, and the Yale students run the whole show,” said Ms. Savin. “1600 students attend from all over the world. There is maybe 30 committees offered.”
Preparation has to start way before the actual trip. “Before the conference starts, the Yale students will send us our assignments of which countries we represent,” said Ms. Savin. “Then you spend 4 days in your committee which has from 100 to 20 people, meet in two hour sessions, two to three times a day.”
According to Ms. Savin, students have won an award at the conference every single year KO has partaken, and that continued this year. Senior Jason Meizels, senior Sam Mazo, and junior Spencer Schaller all received awards during the conference.
Jason was awarded an Honorable mention in the Press Corps special committee. “I was part of Press Corps, so I wrote articles about various committees,” said Jason. Another Chair for Model UN, senior Ben Smalls also partook in the Press Corps special committee. While Ben has a history of doing well and receiving rewards, he was sick and unable to attend a lot of the conference. Fortunately some other students really stepped up.
Sam, who was in the specialized committee for Brexit Negotiations also received an honorable mention. “I did pretty well,” said Sam. “I negotiated between the UK block and the EU block, and my chair liked that so I got honorable mention. This was my second year going to YMUN and first time in a smaller committee, with only 20ish people. I definitely liked it a lot better, I could speak more frequently, and was more involved. I would recommend going on any Model UN trips, to anyone who likes to discuss and argue topics.”
Spencer was named the International Court of Justice committee’s Outstanding delegate. “I was very grateful as it was my first time at Model UN and everyone else there had much more experience than I did,” said Spencer.
“I was on the ICJ [International Court of Justice], a group that is technically independent of the UN,” Spencer said. “They deal with problems between countries and offer possible results based off of the evidence to them.”
“I plan on going next year and applying to ICJ again or possibly the crisis committee, Spencer said. “I really enjoyed my experience of participating in the event and meeting other people with similar interests from other countries.”
“In general Model UN is a very intellectually stimulating activity,” Ben said.. “You have to approach issues from a perspective that does not necessarily lie with your views, and it is very important to gain that global viewpoint.”
While many students did well from KO and even received awards, no one was able to attend the award ceremony. Due to an awful weather forecast, KO left early. “A lot of people left Saturday night,” Ms. Savin said. “Some schools left on Saturday morning. A number of our own kids’ parents came to get them. We moved up our departure, and we did not stay for the award ceremony, but when found out later, we were thrilled.”