The Peddie News

A Glimpse of Model United Nations

Jessica Cheng '20

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Forty-two Peddie students traveled to Hershey, PA to attend a competitive YMCA Model United Nations conference from Jan. 5-7. The conference consisted of over 1,500 students from multiple schools throughout the east coast. Prior to the conference, students were given a country to represent and were required to write a country research paper which consisted of facts, positions and problems related to various topics like human rights, economic policies, and environmental problems. Students were also assigned a committee in which to participate, such as General Assembly, Historical Security Council, and International Criminal Court. In these committees, students debated issues and wrote resolutions to counter problems from the viewpoints of the country to which the student-delegates were assigned. After rigorous debate, the students from the committee could vote for or against proposed resolutions.

Since debate is vital to Model UN, Peddie students challenged themselves to stand and address large groups of peers and convince them, not of their own beliefs, but of the viewpoints of their assigned countries. For Shabrina Supriyono ‘20, this was the most challenging part. “The country I had was Gabon. It is a small and mostly unheard of country that has relatively corrupt laws on human trafficking and forced child labor. Many government officials believe that human trafficking and forced labor are beneficial to the collapsing economy of the country. Thus, during the committee sessions I had to argue for these viewpoints, which was the most challenging part about the conference,” said Supriyono. She also credited MUN with challenging her to improve her public speaking and debate skills.

Despite these challenges, most Peddie students that went on the trip had an amazing experience.  Students were able to meet a various array of people from all different schools and collaborate with them to write resolutions to present to their committees. Through this conference, many Peddie students made countless friends from other schools that may be seen again next year. For Morike Ayodeji ‘20, this was the best part of the three day trip. “My favorite part about MUN was how you got to meet new people and hear them share their views and see how passionate they were. Everyone was so creative and intelligent and had something to bring when writing resolutions or debating,” said Ayodeji.

In addition to meeting new people, debating, passing resolutions etc. there were also several other notable triumphs of the 2018 conference. Peddie School’s Alex Lenart ‘20 and Jason Liu ‘20 were both elected Premier Delegate of their respective committees. This award is one of the highest honors a MUN delegate can receive from his or her fellow peers. Bhanu Cheepurupalli ‘21 and Svanik Dani ‘20 won Premier First Year Delegate awards in their committees, while Meghna Chityala ‘21 and Tamilore Odunsi ‘20 won Character Development awards. Cheepurupalli and Ryan Hu ‘20 were also nominated for Premier Delegate; Hu lost by just one vote, making his race the closest contest for Premier Delegate that YMCA’s Hershey Model UN has ever seen, according to an adult staff of the conference.

All in all, most students would agree that it was a successful and memorable trip that gave the students a better understanding of world and problems that many people face internationally.

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A Glimpse of Model United Nations