Model UN Competes at Brown University

On November 11, Sarah Horgan and nine Western Reserve Academy students embarked on a trip to Brown University to participate in a conference. Known as Model UN, this experience brings students from all over the world together to debate world issues, past and present, so as to better understand the international community while representing a provided country.

Model UN is a highly competitive activity in many high schools in the United States. Most high schools have rigorous classes dedicated solely to preparing for this conference. Although the only required documents for each committee are typically position papers on country’s stance on the topic at hand, it is expected that each student does their research on their nation’s facts, statistics, and political circumstances. Due to this advanced preparation, Model UN conferences, particularly those at schools like Brown, are intense, mentally exhausting, and intellectually stimulating.

“The conference was a lot of fun, even though I was severely sleep deprived everyday,” Yashaswi Sharma ’18 said. “My committee was the General Assembly and we talked about refugee integration and internet privacy. I was the German representative and I won verbal commendation, which in our terms is one step up from honourable mentions.” Despite this success, however, Sharma sees room for improvement: “Although I did feel great about it, I could have definitely done better and maybe could have won best delegate if I had made better decisions with my sleep,” he continued.

Ying Ka Leung ’18, who won the “best dressed” superlative in his committee, thought the conference was awesome. “I pretended to be this Hungarian army general in 1956 and managed to start World War 3 by convincing NATO to invade Eastern Europe.” Wild occurrences like these, even when they are seen in simulations, continually remind us of the fragility of our world order.

Sharma’s success is a reminder to our community of how our school prepares our students for complex debate and international discourse. Furthermore, Model UN remains an increasingly important program that our school offers. On the unbelievably complex topic of international affairs, it is a stepping stone to a deeper understanding of how the world works behind closed doors.

– Christopher Sprunt ’17

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