On Jan. 27, Drew University hosted its 10th annual Model UN Conference. The event was designed for middle school students selected by the Northern NJ Gifted and Talented Student Consortium. The conference began with opening remarks from Dr. Patrick McGuinn and Melanie Marcus (’23). Students were then split into three assemblies, each with three committees. The assembly topics were Palestine Ratification, Global Pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine Conflict. Marcus assigned Drew student volunteers to each assembly, and students were sent off to either Mead Hall, The Ehinger Center or Seminary Hall.
At 10 a.m., each assembly and its respective committees motioned to open the committee and take roll calls. Each delegation stated one or two points that they wanted to draft in the resolution. At this time, a moderated caucus was opened for each delegation to discuss the issues brought up by other delegates. During the moderated caucus, each delegation raised their placard if they wanted to speak, and delegates were given two to three minutes to share their thoughts. Drew student volunteers served as chairs and co-chairs who guided delegates through this process.
An unmoderated caucus with an allotted time of 15-20 minutes was then motioned. During this time, students began brainstorming possible ideas for the resolution. Students were allowed to break up into groups to discuss amongst themselves what should and should not be included in the resolution. At 11 a.m., chairs and co-chairs began working collaboratively with delegates to write the resolution, which needed to consist of five preamble statements and 10 operative statements. Chairs and co-chairs proposed statements, and the delegation voted to approve, decline or improve them. After completing the resolutions, all delegates needed to vote on whether or not to send it to the General Assembly.
At noon, all three committees gathered together for a General Assembly session in which each committee presented their resolutions. Each resolution was passed based on the number of votes received. The chair and co-chair of each commitee then announced the best delegation, best position paper, outstanding delegation and outstanding position paper.
At the end of the event, the room was filled with laughs, smiles and conversations. “Everyone should be very proud of themselves for making this such a great experience for the students,” Marcus said.
Nicole Giao is a sophomore majoring in international relations with a minor in French.
Featured image courtesy of Tyrik Once.