At Model UN conference, Watertown High delegates in position to shine
February 25, 2016209 Views
From rewriting the Constitution to saving the polar bears, nine students recently proved that Watertown High has its own set of future political leaders.
The students were at the Boston Invitational Model United Nations Conference, which was hosted by Boston University on Feb. 5-7 at the Park Plaza Hotel. Together, with advisors Jim Buck and David Mastro, they channeled their inner power delegate to command the committees.
Arguably, Model UN is one of the most misunderstood clubs at WHS. Here’s the rundown: Students, referred to as ‘delegates’, will attend conferences like BOSMUN all over the world, representing their pre-assigned country. Students meet with Mr. Buck and Mr. Mastro to research the topic they’re going to discuss on behalf of their country at the conference.
When going to these conferences, students talk their research and on occasion compile their country’s stand on the issue into a position paper, which is presented to their committee during the conference. Meeting with different countries, like in the real United Nations, delegates work to create resolutions that better their respective countries while working toward solving issues.
Students meet on Thursday mornings in Mr. Buck’s room to talk about future conferences, run mock conferences to help new delegates get a feel for the terms and how it works, and everything else Model UN.
Not only does it helps students gain valuable speaking skills, but colleges often look favorably on students who take part. Model UN exposes students to a business environment that allows them to meet people from all over the world, learn how to express their views respectfully, and work with others.
Though the date and location of the next conference is still undecided, anyone willing to join can jump right in, as members say that’s the only way you can really get used to it. Ranging from novice committees to advanced, there’s a spot for everyone who wants a little Model UN at WHS.
At the Boston conference, students worked through a snow day on Friday, shuffling through slush in their Western business attire for the opening ceremonies and their first session of committee of the night.
Since this conference is considering a major deal on the East Coast, students from all over the United States — and some from even as far as Dubai — gathered to represent countries on more than 25 committees during the three-day conference.
Though delegates were sleepy and most wanted to go to bed after a long day, they kicked off their first session strong with opening remarks, while getting to know the high schools they would be spending the weekend with, both familiar faces and new.
The second day was even longer, with three sessions of committee, each ranging about three hours long.
Starting at 9 a.m., delegates filed into their rooms and got started right away, rewriting working papers that would later become resolutions, while working in their blocs, or groups, that had similar opinions on the topic.
Once the day was done, some of the WHS delegates went back to Watertown, while some stayed for the delegate dance where everyone was given the opportunity to mix and mingle. Though someone did break a leg, the night was reported a success.
The last day for delegates seemed the shortest, with everyone tired from a busy weekend and wanting to pass their resolutions.
With the final session of committee, delegates wrapped up loose ends, voted on their resolutions created over the weekend, and, for some committees — like the United Nations Environmental Program — delegates wasted time before closing ceremonies with dance parties and exchanging social network information to talk with others long after the conference ended.
Finally, the time had come to file into the ballroom like they did two days before and receive awards and say thanks. From the St. John’s Prep boys dabbing in the corner to one school lifting their fellow peers on a chair, the closing ceremonies were anything but boring for delegates, leading delegates to mark another conference as a success for the WHS Model UN club.
–Feb. 25, 2016–
Alexis Caira is a veteran member of the Raider Times staff (2014-17).