Late Night Politickin'

A guest post by 11th grader Madi.


Last weekend, seven high schools students attended Boston University’s 15th annual Model United Nations at the Park Plaza. There, we discussed and debated a wide variety of issues -- from the role of the  FBI in the Watergate Scandal to the merits of the Spanish Inquisition in the court of Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand II in 1494. Some of us simulated the U.S. Congress and worked to build the framework for nuclear deals in Iran, some discussed peacekeeping operations in China, and others were assigned to the House Un-American Activities Committee, where they were made responsible for identifying and  jailing communists during the Red Scare.

While normal committee meetings are always fun and interesting, nothing was more exciting than the midnight committee sessions several of us experienced early Saturday morning. We worked until dawn to try and prevent Russia from expanding the Trans-Siberian Railroad closer to Japanese presence on the Korean peninsula while Russia worked to destroy Japan’s naval presence in Port Arthur. There was certainly a thrill in getting woken up and taken downstairs to deal with a crisis, much like in the real world where diplomats frequently have their sleep interrupted with pressing international issues.

We also spent the weekend eating delicious Vietnamese food and socializing with students from different schools. Our lovely science teacher Stephanie also popped in for a visit to cheer us on.
All in all, it was a lovely weekend with lots of foreign affairs and fun. Oh, and by the way, the Trans-Siberian Railroad was successfully restricted. All in a day (and late night)'s work.


High School MUN goes to Brown

Guest post by 9th grader Julia, who also won Best Position Paper in her Committee!


During the weekend of November 6-8, five Meridian high school students ventured to the Brown University campus to participate in their Simulation of the United Nations (BUSUN), where delegates tackled real-world problems in the format of an authentic United Nations committee. While most committees were representative of real UN committees, such as the Security Council or the World Health organization, Meridian students were a part of specialized or historical scenarios. Sophie’s committee took place during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, where she represented a member of the Unionists faction. Isaac took on the role of Guatam Gupta, CFO of Uber, for a conference consisting of the Uber board of directors. Kenny joined the Municipal Chamber of Rio de Janeiro and faced problems around the upcoming Summer Olympics and other social issues. Madi was a part of the Consejo de Ministros de Cuba as the Minister of Education and was tasked with decisions regarding major policies. I was an elected official of the Dutch Republic during the Thirty Years War in the 1600’s, and I tackled issues surrounding conflict between more than five nations. It was a successful trip for all of us delegates!

"Irreplaceable" Opportunities in Meridian's Model UN Program

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, and it’s been an exciting fall for Meridian’s Model UN program. On October 26, juniors Isaac, Madi, and Max -- longtime MUN participants and current leaders of our middle school program -- were invited to join an exclusive UN Day luncheon hosted by the United Nations Association of Greater Boston.

The event gathered leaders from the business, policy, and academic communities for a dialogue on world affairs, and it included special guest Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, the new Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the UN. UNAGB set aside special time for Meridian students to speak with him about his work, and the event helped expose the real world of the United Nations.

As Isaac said, “It was really interesting to talk to people who work in embassies and consulates, who are actually in the world of international diplomacy. We’re used to working in Model UN, but they’re actually
in the United Nations.”

“The ability to attend something so much larger than the small community of Model UN is irreplaceable,” said Madi. “I got to meet people who inspire change on an international scale every day.”

The following day, Isaac, Madi, and Max led the middle school Model UN group to a no-prep UN simulation at the Massachusetts State House, where students were given a short time to read informational packets, prepare statements, and caucus with other delegates towards a solution on their assigned issue. The high school leaders felt that this was an essential piece of preparation for full-scale conferences, particularly for students who are participating in Model UN for the first time.

“When we were in 7th grade,” explained Max, “the three of us had no idea how a committee session ran until we were in the thick of it. Having a low-stress experience to get a feel for how a Model UN actually works is going to be really helpful for the middle schoolers in the future.”

Reflecting on the simulation, Madi said, “It's cheesy, but each year the students provide for me more than I probably provide for them. To see kids who have never done Model UN before get up and speak is so humbling. They far surpass my expectations.”