Model UN Attends Conference at Harvard In Place Of Annual NAIMUN Conference

This past weekend, Andover’s Model United Nations Club attended a conference hosted by Harvard University, in Boston. The Model UN club attended the Harvard conference instead of the North American Invitational Model United Nations conference, as the school was unable to cover the costs of attending the NAIMUN conference. According to John Rogers, Dean of Studies, “All the programs that take students off-campus that need financial aid, including sports teams and such, have not been given financial support.” “This decision to stop the funding for off-campus events was made so that we would be able to meet the increased financial aid needs of current students,” said Rogers, “The school needed the money for the new need-blind admission policy.” Rogers said that with the still unstable economic climate, Model UN is not likely to receive funding to go to Georgetown next year. “It all depends on what the economy does in the next year,” said Rogers. Hoonie Moon ’10, Secretary-General of the Model UN club, said, “Harvard Model UN was overall a superb experience. From study guides to guest speakers, the conference was never lacking in substance.” Moon added that this trip wouldn’t have been possible without “the Abbot Academy Association [who] provided a grant for us to attend Harvard Model UN.” “Phillips Academy brought 17 delegates to the Harvard Model UN [and] the experience we gained as a club will benefit the conference we run in April,” Moon added. Andover student delegates participated in a variety of assemblies. Will Lindsey ’10, Co-Under Secretary General of Andover’s Model UN club was awarded an honorable mention in his assembly, Organization of American States. Honorable mention “is 3rd place in my committee of about 30 kids. I represented the country of Trinidad and Tobago,” said Lindsey. Lindsey said, “Harvard was a very good national conference experience. I debated drug trafficking in South America, so I now know more about drugs than I would ever need to know. “The combination of debate and organization made for a great time,” said Lindsey. “The highlight of the conference for me was hearing about everyone’s experiences during their committees.” “The committee sessions were longer at Harvard than Georgetown. We had some legitimate UN employees moderate our committee,” Lindsey added. “I think the school would benefit from attending both conferences in the future.” Kevin Song ’11 also represented Trinidad and Tobago in the Social, Cultural, and Humanitarian Committee (SOCHUM). SOCHUM discussed gender selection for either medical or social purposes. The 300 delegates in Song’s committee posed a difficulty when Song wished to speak in the conference. “It was hard for a country like Trinidad and Tobago to speak,” said Song. “Getting a resolution passed was the best part. The worst part was sitting through hours and hours of speeches and raising your placard every single time and not getting called on,” Song continued. Chris Meyer ’11 represented St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Economic and Financial Committee. “It was quite clear going into the conference that almost everyone knew what they were doing. I will admit, that although they were initially enjoyable, the four-hour sessions eventually wore me down,” said Meyer. “There wasn’t an enormous need for outside research. However, because of registration issues, we had only gotten our topics about a week in advance, while the other schools had their assignments months ago, [and it] definitely showed,” Meyer added. Meyer is a Commentary Editor for The Phillipian. Angelica Jarvenpaa ’11 said, “I put in about a day [of] researching. We only got our assignments a week before the conference. Whereas [other schools] got their assignments in September?.” Teruyo Shimazu, Instructor in Japanese and Faculty Advisor to the Model UN club, said, “Usually the conference in Georgetown takes place in mid-February, and it gives students more time to research and prep. Considering the amount of time, I think my students did very well. They worked really hard.” “I personally enjoy NAIMUN more,” said Shimazu, “[It’s] more organized and professionally conducted. [However,] we are very grateful that we have received an Abbot Grant, which allowed us to participate in the conferences.” Moon said, “Model UN conferences are a terrific way to meet new people who are passionate about issues that concern the international community. This year at Harvard Model UN, I had a chance to share ideas with students who came from [many] foreign countries.” “We had some very dedicated Model UN participants this year,” said Lindsey, “and I commend all their efforts this weekend. I am now looking forward to the [Boston University] conference where I am sure we can match the success we had at Harvard.”