Abraham Litwin-Logan, the head of this year’s Model United Nations club at CDS, who is in his final year at the school, was asked the same question about the benefits of MUN.
Representing Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa during the October Crisis of 1970, I participated in last Friday’s CDSMUN event - my second Model UN conference and first-ever crisis committee.
Sitting at the long, note-covered Parent Association Room table and watching as both experienced and novice delegates took the floor and immersed themselves in the lively debate that took place was truly an eye-opening experience.
The Country Day School welcomed students from Holy Trinity School and St. Andrew’s College for the event, all of whom were stunningly effective speakers and really knew their way around a MUN committee. Our school’s slightly newer delegates were thrown right into the action and were encouraged to adapt quickly to the procedures and expectations of the vigorous discussions.
Having my character switched from Bourassa to Montreal mayor Jean Drapeau within the first two hours of the event definitely added to the pressure, but I believe it gave me the unique opportunity to put my problem-solving and interpretive skills to the test. Collaborating with other delegates, supposed friends and foes alike, gave students, an unexpected chance to broaden our critical thinking abilities as we put our minds together to resolve burning issues in our committees.
The October Crisis committee was among two others - the Harry Potter committee (Riddle’s Return), in which delegates represented fictional literary personas such as Albus Dumbledore, and the Trump 2020 committee, in which delegates represented current political figures associated with the Trump administration, such as Kanye West. In all three, students were presented with new issues every 10 to 15 minutes and engaged in negotiations to find solutions in critical situations. I believe that I speak for all participants of the event when I say that I left the school that night feeling more knowledgeable, more experienced, and more prepared to take on similar future pursuits.
The most distinguished delegates received awards for each committee - the student with the best preliminary position paper, as well as the most active delegates, whether it was public action or behind-the-scenes operations, received the Position Paper award, the Best Delegate award, the Outstanding Delegate award, and the Honourable Mention award(s). Congratulations to all of the award recipients:
Best Delegate - Caleb Williams - SAC
Outstanding Delegate - Drew Kennedy - CDS
Honourable Mention - Carlos Solloa - SAC
Honourable Mention - Natasha Ng - HTS
Honourable Mention - Daniel Shen - HTS
Position Paper - Tawana Ngorimi - CDS
Best Delegate - Nicole Damianidis- CDS
Outstanding Delegate - Ty White - SAC
Honourable Mention - Kieran Walters - SAC
Honourable Mention - Richard Rubin - HTS
Position Paper - Avery Benlolo - CDS
Best Delegate - Shayan Noor - HTS
Outstanding Delegate - Kevin Qu - HTS
Honourable Mention - Christina Chkarboul - CDS
Position Paper - Spencer Thomson - SAC
Not to mention, congratulations to everyone who participated for their tremendous effort, determination, and pure grit. Also, thank you to all of the student organizers led by Abraham Litwin-Logan and Dima Kalander, and Ms. Moonan and Mr. Young for putting together such a well-run, enjoyable, and educational event.
As for the year ahead, the club is going to ILMUNC (Ivy League Model UN Conference) at UPenn, which runs from January 31 to February 3, with 10 extremely dedicated veteran members. Ms. Moonan and Mr. Young have made it more of a scaffolded approach this year, with newer delegates being offered an opportunity to go to conferences that are more accessible in terms of distance and size of the conference. UTMUN (University of Toronto Model UN), which runs from February 7-10, is an opportunity that will be offered to students who joined this year.
I inquired about the future of MUN at The Country Day School and how Ms. Moonan hopes the club will flourish in the years to come.
“I would love to see CDSMUN become a fixture at The Country Day School,” she said. “It offers so many opportunities for innovation and leadership. Whether that comes in the form of commanding a room full of brand new delegates with a gavel, or using their imagination to launch crises that might confound even the most experienced delegates.”