Virtual Dartmouth Model UN: Engaging Students in Diplomacy, Global Citizenship

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Each spring, Dartmouth College plays host to their annual Model United Nations conference (DartMUN) where hundreds of high school-aged delegates get their chance at practicing diplomacy and debating skillfully in international politics, humanitarian crises, and more. This weekend, eight New Hampton School students participated in the Virtual Model United Nations event. The program began Friday evening with Opening Ceremonies and concluded with Closing Ceremonies by Sunday afternoon. There were five official committee sessions as well as impromptu meetings where delegates form breakout sessions to discuss their issues to gain a consensus.

Linda ’22 was one of the eight delegates from New Hampton to participate at Model UN this past weekend.

Hearing from our delegates

To learn more about the experience itself, a few of our student delegates shared with faculty leader Mr. DeBenedictis what they learned and accomplished during their time. Here is their insight on this time-honored tradition.

“I learned about the rules and regulations that the UN can and cannot follow. And also that the UN cannot enforce certain laws but rather encourage international cooperation for the greater good.” – Linda ’22

“I was in the UNEP [United Nations Environment Programme] focusing on the issue of air pollution in Southeast Asia. My committee discussed many different solutions including incentives to reduce the use of vehicles, regulations, and incentives to lower carbon emissions.” – Jared ’21

“In the Crisis Committee, we talked about food shortages in Africa, terrorist groups stealing vaccines, cooperative assassinations committed by said terrorists, and we ended the weekend in an all-out war between Uganda and Tanzania. So, needless to say, this experience was engaging.” – Camden ’22

Another Model UN delegate, Jared ’21 (second from left) shown here with the robotics team.

Building skills for the future

While this year’s experience was virtual, students were engaged throughout the weekend with complex topics and engrossing solutions. Model UN helps students gain practical skills and development in leadership, research, public speaking, contextualization, negotiation, problem-solving, and cooperation, to name a few. For the general assemblies and special committees, they receive briefing materials of both historical and future theoretical crises to consider for their simulations. New Hampton School has a strong participatory history at Model UN events over the years with the support of faculty and the ongoing interest of our students.

The 2019 New Hampton delegation at DartMUN on campus in Hanover, New Hampshire.

 

Photo credit: The main image of Dartmouth College is from the Dartmouth Model UN site, linked in the opening text above.

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