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Model UN Attends Georgetown Conference

Nine Mercersburg Academy students participated in NAIMUN LIX (the North American Invitational Model United Nations conference), which took place February 17-19 in Washington, D.C. This was the first in-person conference the school’s Model UN students have participated in since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Model UN is a simulation of governmental and international politics, with students assuming the roles of specific political figures, nations, or organizations. Mercersburg’s student delegates for the conference (which was organized by Georgetown University) included Jason Butler-VanderLinden ’23, Pere Cabus Carrera ’23, Arianna Campi ’22, Leonardo Dunn ’23, Frances Elwood ’23, Max Friedman ’25, Kevin Hang ’24, Tony Huang ’24, and Olatz Marques Saralegui ’23. 

“As the adviser of Model UN, this was also my first in-person conference and it was an incredible experience,” says Justine O’Connell, Mercersburg’s director of global programs and Model UN adviser. “During the last two Model UN seasons, our students participated in a variety of virtual conferences, but nothing compares to the in-person experience. It was awesome to see the students in action as they collaborated and debated with peers from across the U.S. and the world. As one of the most competitive conferences in the high school Model UN circuit, it was a steep learning curve for our delegation in regards to the competition they faced this weekend, but I am so incredibly proud of each and every one of them for their hard work and dedication before and during the conference. Students came back fired up and more than half of the delegates registered to participate in Model UN this spring. I'm excited to have them back and hear their ideas for our on-campus mock conference in April.”

More information about February’s conference can be found here

“What I enjoy the most about Model UN at Mercersburg is being able to have intellectual conversations with my peers about issues that we may never discuss in our everyday lives,” Campi says. “For example, one of my topics last year was about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and it was really interesting to hear the views of other delegates from different countries and what those delegates thought about coming up with solutions for the issue itself. Also, earlier in the term we did a public-speaking exercise where we had to speak about a topic someone had posed even if we did not know anything about it, and then someone else refuted it. It was really interesting to see where other people’s minds led to, and more than anything, Model UN is about hearing the perspective of others and trying to solve issues whether they be prevalent to society today or to a specific time period.”

Model UN is a performance group activity at Mercersburg that welcomes students of all levels to come and engage in debate and diplomacy. While this upcoming conference is the first in-person event for the group, they have remained busy and active on campus over the past two years.