Thirteen Saint Andrew’s Scots embarked on a trip to the Netherlands to participate in the week-long The Hague International Model UN Conference (THIMUN). Led by Upper School History Teacher and MUN Director Dr. Jason Schipper, seniors Charlotte Rowley, Sophie Gorup, Lauren Sterneck, Seema Thakkar, joined juniors Arin Nelson, Chad Rubin, Jamie Shook, sophomores Max Silverstein, Alexa Shumway, Venus Wang, and Freshman Rithik Mandalapu.
“The Hague International Model UN Conference is without a doubt, one of the largest and most prestigious Model UN conferences in the world,” said Dr. Schipper.
Invitation for schools to attend the Model UN Conference is only granted following a strict application process and review. “We were the only school from Florida attending, and one of five from the entire United States. It is quite an honor for our team, students, and Saint Andrew's School,” added Dr. Schipper.
During the first day of the conference, months of hard work paid off and came to fruition. With placards ready, binders packed with resource materials, business attire pressed, and ID badges shiny clean, Saint Andrew's School's Mauritania delegation took the conference by storm!
The first official day for the inaugural SA Delegation at THIMUN was a huge success. At the World Forum Convention Center, SA students joined thousands of delegates from all over the world ready to make some meaningful recommendations concerning major world events and issues.
“After a quick briefing and an all-hands-in ‘Go Scots,’ SA delegates dispersed to their respective committees. And to the surprise of all of us, committees began almost immediately with lobbying to create resolutions,” said Dr. Schipper.
This process is different than the Harvard model, one that the students are used to, and different from what had been previously done at THIMUN. So students immediately found themselves immersed in a new and intense, MUN format. But because SA has very knowledgeable and capable MUN delegates, who are confident and well prepared for anything, students quickly adapted and found themselves being co-submitters and supporters for numerous resolutions that were up for discussion and debate.
As the afternoon came around, students finished up in their committees and witnessed the official Opening Ceremonies. Scots cheered loudly when the Mauritania flag was processed across the stage, and then listened intently to powerful keynote speakers representing The United Nations.
After each of the following days of resolution writing and tweaking, opening speeches, rebuttal speeches, inquiries, points of information, and co-submitting sponsorship on proposed resolutions, students were in the habit of returning to the hotel for a period of reflection and debriefing. “Though there were certainly some interesting vignettes that were shared from delegates' committee’s sessions, the students expressed joy and excitement for the work they had accomplished during the day,” said Dr. Schipper.
“What meant the most to Ms. Orr and I were that the students all commented about the friends that they were making and the people that they were talking to from all over the world,” he added.
“In the end, with a grand total of accepted resolutions co-submitted by SA delegation at four, considering that around ten resolutions get accepted in the entire THIMUN conference, this is quite an accomplishment for our delegates! I am very proud of them,” commented Dr. Schipper.
At the very emotional yet raucous closing ceremonies, all lead delegates processed with flags, and a Caribbean band closed the ceremonies with a jammin' performance. SA’s majestic Mauritania flag was processed by senior and MUN co-president Charlotte Rowley.
The closing ceremony proved to be an appropriate way to end the 52nd Annual THIMUN Conference - a week of hard work, intensity, and great fun.