Tenth Grade Delegates Practice Debate and Diplomacy

Dressed to impress, tenth grade students spent yesterday tackling the art of compromise and negotiating the complexities of international relations.
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After preparing for weeks, the young delegates gathered in Estherwood and the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center for the annual Model United Nations Day, a rite of passage for all tenth graders.

Under the guidance of World History II faculty Lisa Berrol, Jessica Chen, Lexy Higgins, Matt Ives, Eric Shapiro and Skeff Young, the students served as delegates on one of six committees: Regional Focus: East Asia; World Health; Migration: Europe; Arms Proliferation and Disarmament; Climate: Agriculture and Water; and Gender Equality and The Empowerment of Women and Girls.

“The students easily picked up on the procedures and how to run a formal committee meeting. It's exciting to see them coming up with various amendments so quickly,” Young said. “They’re slowly easing into their comfort zone as we move through and do the various types of roles one does in this kind of work, so they're gaining a lot of skills as a result.”

Throughout the daylong event, students discovered how gratifying it was to research, learn how to write resolutions, give speeches, and debate global crises. 

Daniel Hwong ’26, who represented Egypt on the Migration Committee, was pleased his group’s resolution passed: “As the co-sponsors of a resolution with Greece and Algeria, we were trying to create a UN trust fund for more safe borders and processes for migrants to go through.”

Meanwhile, Beatrice Steiner ’26 and Francesca Ranvier ’26, both delegates on the East Asia committee, exited a session looking a bit defeated. “We just discussed the Belt and Road Initiative in China,” Ranvier, who represented Singapore, explained. “We talked about economic development, and the resolution didn't pass.”

“At first it was a little nerve-wracking, and with me representing Canada, I’m not a part of East Asia so it’s definitely harder for me to add my input,” Steiner said. “But we had a great group of people which made it easy to discuss and create amendments and vote.”

For Chen’s students, the day was a welcome change of pace from their typical classwork. “I hope their takeaway is a little bit more insight into how difficult it is to actually get things done to address these global issues,” she said. “It is complicated to have all these different countries in the same room trying to agree, so it will maybe give them more context when they hear about the real UN in the news.”

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