Model UN Team Hosts Regional High School Conference


What started as an idea between students was brought to life on Sunday, Dec. 2 as the University of New Haven’s distinguished Model United Nations (MUN) team held Charger Model United Nations (Charger MUN) in partnership with Notre Dame High School. Around 150 students from nine local high schools assembled at the university to participate in a mock conference based of that of the United Nations.

“Originally we wanted about 40 to 50 students and we managed to get nearly 200,” said Jaimy Rippe, co-director of Charger MUN. “It was a really great success that we got to experience as a team.”

Rippe and Nicole Fischer, both seniors lead the university’s MUN team as co-secretary generals for preparation leading up to and execution throughout the conference.

“Here at Charger MUN, we are really encouraging high school students to continue Model United Nations in college and at our university, since we are one of the best teams in the world,” Rippe said.

Typically, a MUN conference spans about a week long, but on Sunday, area students only had one day to discuss potential resolutions to world issues while having the opportunity to listen to keynote address from university professors Matthew Schmidt and Howard Stoffer and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Lourdes Alvarez.

“All these resolutions they are proposing, they are working collaboratively in groups to essentially combat these issues,” Rippe said.

Throughout the conferences general assembly, students were split up into committees to find solutions to issues like the colonization of outer space, environmental sustainability, and the sovereignty of Palestine.

In order for successful discussion for viable solutions to be achieved, the students needed to be inclusive with effective communication and work with personalities they may not typically run into, Rippe explained.

Notre Dame senior Carlos Villa has been active within his school’s MUN team since his freshman year and looks forward to the various MUN conferences to gain global perspectives on issues and to build his communication skills.

“I always wanted to be kind of like in government or in the United Nations.” said Villa. “So basically going into these conferences I try to communicate better and work on communication skills with everybody, so that it in the future, hopefully in my future job, I can know what I’m doing and know how to communicate with people.”

The conferences concludes with a closing ceremonies where students are recognized for their efforts throughout the day with a series of awards for both teams and individuals. Team awards consist of Honorable Mention, Distinguished Delegation, and the top award, Outstanding Delegation, while individual awards consist of categories such as Outstanding Orator or Outstanding Diplomat. Rippe claimed the importance of praising the students to reiterate how well they performed in a challenging setting.

Outside of the Charger MUN, the university’s MUN team works with both Notre Dame High School and West Haven High School’s teams to help prepare the students not only for university’s conference, but other surrounding conferences to ensure they are given every opportunity to succeed.

“These students have the desire to change the world and we are trying to preserve that as best as we can,” Rippe said. “So creating this positive environment for them is essential, not only for holding the conference on an annual bases, but for them to understand that they have the platform to go further and hopefully they can do so with our MUN team.”