From Westover: Students at Model UN Program

Chris Ames (right), head of Westover School’s History Department and advisor to the School’s Model UN program, recently led a workshop for 38 students interested in attending two upcoming Model UN conferences with the help of four seniors. They are (left) Mickey Shi of Beijing, China; Cammie Hussey of Sharon; Sarah Pino of Waterbury and Marianella Salinas of Sandy Hook.

MIDDLEBURY — A group of 38 Westover School students recently attended a series of five presentations that served as an introduction to the workings of Model UN, teaching them parliamentary procedure and position papers on international issues and how to write motions, resolutions, and amendments.

The workshop was organized by Chris Ames, head of Westover’s History Department and advisor to Westover’s Model UN program, with the help of four seniors: Sarah Pino of Waterbury, Cammie Hussey of Sharon, Marianella Salinas of Sandy Hook, and Mickey Shi of Beijing, China, who were among the students who attended a Model UN conference in Washington, DC, in March 2019.

This year, students in the Model UN program will attend two conferences, an international event scheduled in Washington, D.C. and a regional event at the Kent School in Kent.

Mr. Ames described the workshop, “It was basically a crash course in the workings of Model UN. The workshops were fairly fast-moving, without a lot of time for the participants to debrief.”

Ms. Shi said that the most challenging part of her sessions was to successfully cover all the procedures that are part of Model UN while making her presentation engaging and interesting for students new to the program. “It was gratifying to see students taking notes and asking good questions and seeing them getting excited about attending a Model UN conference.”

In her training sessions progressed, Ms. Pino said she was encouraged to see her fellow students, “Feeling more confident about the material. It showed that they were paying attention.”

Fifteen students have been selected to attend the conference in Washington, where they will serve as this year’s United Kingdom’s delegation.

They received their committee assignments and Ms. Hussey and Carla Figueras, a sophomore from Barcelona, Spain, will work on Disarmament and International Security, while Ms. Shi and Phoenix Bernardin, a junior from Torrington, will focus on Social and Humanitarian concerns.

Ms. Salinas and Maddie Aho, a junior from Putney, Vt., have been assigned to Special Policies. Katy Hunter, a senior from Southbury, will deal with issues connected to the Soccer Premier League.

Other assignments include Mikalya Labissiere, a senior from Danbury, on the Commission on the Status of Women; Kasey Ingerson, a senior from Watertown, and Emily Si, a junior from Yunnan, China, on the Commission on Refugees; and Meaghan Bottino, a senior from Woodbury, and Lydia Clark, a sophomore from Highlands, North Carolina, on the Commission on Drugs and Crime.

Two students have been assigned to specialized committees that will, in effect, travel back in time to focus on historic events. Emily Benoit, a senior from Monroe, will be re-examining the British Partition of India and Pakistan in 1948, while Silje Wedemeyer, a junior from Jaatzen, Germany, will be revisiting Soccer’s 1930 World Cup. 

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