The daylong event, which has been held annually for more than 15 years and is planned by the History and Religion Department, took place in Estherwood Mansion and the Library Conference Room. It is an opportunity for the entire grade to participate in and learn about diplomacy, international relations and the United Nations. “There’s something unique about having the whole grade participate in something,” said Eric Shapiro, a faculty member in the History and Religion Department.
Students spend the school day immersed in some of the most difficult global issues of the day, all while representing countries from across the globe. Shapiro noted that representing countries with different values from their own can be a challenging – and eye-opening – aspect of the simulation for students. “Understanding that they are representing their country’s beliefs and ideologies, it really hits home when they are standing up giving speeches,” Shapiro explained.
Prior to Monday’s event, students participated in a planning day, where they heard from Jan Fischer, who held a number of key positions at the United Nations, including spokesperson for the president of the UN General Assembly. Students also prepared by learning about parliamentary procedures and the country they would each be representing.
The entire day is a valuable experience for the grade, and many of Shapiro’s students were pleasantly surprised by how much they enjoyed it. Some, he said, even said they plan to try out for the Model UN Club.