Academy sends fourteen delegate students to Model UN


Ashley Marie Lardizabal, Reporter

Fourteen student delegates from the AP Economics class participated in the Third Annual Pacific Model United Nations Conference held at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort on Nov. 14 and 15.

Sophomores Raelynn Chu, Alana Stroede, Shelly Aquino, Megan Backus, Kaycee Selga, Joanne Villanueva, Ellie Ramirez, Ji-Won Ha, Taryn Wong, Faizah Shyanguya, Hudson Jones, Justine Sison, Janelle Lauronal, and Suzanne Tsukenjo had never participated in a conference, Social Studies teacher, Lurline Choy, was impressed by their performance and presentations.

“[The girls] went above my expectations. I especially loved hearing the girls network with other students. They did a great job representing their own countries,” said Choy.

Model United Nations conferences are  student versions of what an actual United Nations conference is like.

Each student was assigned a specific country to research and represent at the conference. At the event, they were placed into committees and assigned two topics. Delegates went into the conference not knowing specific issues or topics that could be discussed, causing many to be intimidated by the challenges they faced.

Tsukenjo remembers the experience as something she had never imagined herself doing.

“There were many other students who probably knew things I didn’t know. It’s scary at first, but you have to adjust. When you’re there, you’re not yourself. You’re representing your country’s voice,” she said.

Academy students represented Qatar, Libya and Indonesia.

The conference is an annual event. This is the first time in about 10 years that the Academy has participated in such a big conference.

In order to prepare for the event, Academy delegates wrote position papers, expressing what their country needed as officially stated by the government and people. They also went over tips to keep in mind before and during the conference.

Lauronal said that Model United Nations isn’t something one could fully prepare for. It simply takes skill and an opinion on what a country wants.

She said, “The paper that we wrote beforehand wasn’t that much of a help. You can’t really practice or get ready for it because you don’t know what another nation might mention. The most learning you do is at the event when you have to mingle and approach others professionally.”

When student delegates were finally given their topics, they was enough time to chat or network with other countries before the formal debate began in order to get a better understanding of what they would be discussing.

Sison believes that this was a great opportunity to socialize outside of technology.

She said, “We don’t make face-to-face contact often but because we had to at Model United Nations, it was a challenge. You had to know what you were talking about.”

Throughout the course of the conference, delegates participated in multiple caucuses with short breaks in between. During the caucuses students spoke not from a leader’s point of view but from the voice of the country’s people.

Lauronal said, “It takes a lot of work just to sit there and listen. Not only do you have to know about the issues brought up, but you need to have self-control when expressing your opinion. You have to go in with an open mind.”