Model U.N. Club and Coursework Advance Student Interest in Global Matters
From interaction in foreign affairs to engaging in diplomacy, 13 Upper School students became virtual international delegates at a recent Model U.N. online conference.
While they weren’t able to travel to New York, Boston or Washington, D.C., as is normally the case when our students attend Model U.N. conferences – we usually send students to two overnight conferences a year – students nonetheless engaged in debate, formed alliances, and wrote resolutions in their various committees at the conference. During the Closing Ceremonies, senior Prottoya Chowdhury earned a verbal commendation.
Club advisor Julie Sanza said that students participate in teams as delegates of various countries. Committee members work together and present their country’s perspective on relevant topics – a challenge for some because the collective perspective doesn’t always match the individual’s.
“Students always mention how they really build their public speaking skills during these conferences,” said Miss Sanza. “It also gives them skills in compromising and working together as a team because when they come up with resolutions to issues, they are doing so in a group, not individually.”
Hamden Hall’s Model U.N. Club has more than 20 members.
For those students interested in foreign affairs, diplomacy, and the role of the United Nations, the Upper School also offers a Global Studies course, which is taught by Miss Sanza.
“We learn about current global events and such through the lenses of the United Nations. Students write position papers, debate one another, and come up with global resolutions to issues,” she said.
While admitting that the topics tackled in her Global Studies class can be “heavy,” Miss Sanza said it’s an interesting environment because students offer their own views and opinions while debating one another.
According to Miss Sanza, topics this school year have included the War on Drugs, Terrorism, and Ethnic Discrimination/Genocide.
“I actually let the students vote on the topics, and this is what they asked for,” she said of the focus issues. “We incorporated what the United Nations’ role has been in these topics, including learning a general background on the U.N., the Sustainable Development Goals, and the specific roles of various organs of the U.N. in relation to our topics,” Miss Sanza explained.
For example, students learned about the role of the International Court of Justice during the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar.
Upper School Co-Director Kim Porto said this is the second year that Hamden Hall has offered the Global Studies course. Last year, topics addressed included environmental waste among others.
Hamden Hall Country Day School is a nurturing and inclusive community with a dynamic learning environment that promotes academic excellence by understanding each child and fostering their individual growth.