Model UN club attempts to change the world at Hood College


Courtesy of Olivia Pietanza

Students and advisors prepare for opening remarks.

by Elizabeth Anderson, Watermark Editor

On January 5, students part of the Model United Nations club participated in the 14th Annual Frederick County Model U.N. Conference at Hood College.

Three LHS students won awards for their performance. Elizabeth Gilmore won Best Position Paper for General Assembly 1 which dealt with violence against women and girls. Jack Rich won honorable mention for Best Position Paper in the same subject. Daniel Melgar won honorable mention for Best Position Paper in the Spanish Committee which dealt with right of economic migrants.

“Winning the award was a shock,” said Gilmore, member of the Class of 2020. “I put a lot of work and effort into it and seeing it pay off was a great feeling. [Model UN] is all just a simulation, but these are real world issues that the real United Nations deals with. I feel like I’m making a difference.”

Since the Model U.N. Conference closely mimics the actual United Nations, proceedings are complex and vary depending on committee and issue. Generally speaking, it can be simplified to two things: discussion and resolution. Students must speak about the issue as a delegate of their country and collaborate with others to think of possible solutions (or in some countries’ cases, a lack of a solution).

“You get to simulate worldwide problems happening today and come up with a solution with people you may not know. You have to communicate and know where you (as a delegate) stand among them. I really like the social aspect of it,” said Class of 2020 Olivia Pietanza.

To prepare for discussion of the specific topics, students had to write position papers prior to the conference from the stance of the country they were representing. LHS students represented countries such as India, Afghanistan, and the United States of America. Students chose their countries at an orientation session in October which took place at Frederick High School.

“We all research our [respective] country and its opinions on the topic to write the paper,” said Class of 2019 Sarah Buckley. “We then have to think of creative solutions that we can later present as a resolution in our committee at the conference.”

During the event, the students listened to remarks from leadership, including FCPS Social Studies Curriculum Specialist Colleen Bernard, FCPS Superintendent Dr. Theresa R. Alban, and Frederick City Mayor Michael O’Connor.

FCPS graduate and Programs Manager at PACE Financial Servicing Jessa Coleman was the keynote speaker.

Coleman discussed career change, telling students that what they think is the right choice for them may not be–and that it’s okay. Choosing a career that fits you well is important.

Most of the day was spent in committee.  Committees this year (topics in italics) included:

General Assembly 1: Violence Against Women and Girls

General Assembly 2: Economic and Educational Opportunities for Women and Girls

Security Council: The Korean Peninsula

World Health Organization: Global Pandemics

UN Environmental Program: Illicit Trade in Endangered Species

The International Organization for Migration – Spanish Committee: Rights of Economic Migrants

Committee for the Integrity of Elections: Integrity of the Election Process

Middle School Committee: Peaceful Use of Outer Space

The International Organization for Migration – Spanish Committee and the Middle School Committee were both new this year.

The Spanish Committee is unique because students must write and speak fluent Spanish to be involved.

Other schools that participated in the conference were from Frederick, Howard, Loudon, and Montgomery counties.

Macy Armagost and Sarah Buckley are co-presidents of the club, and Elizabeth Gilmore is vice president. Mrs. Angela Smithhisler is the advisor.

Participating LHS students included Elizabeth Anderson, Macy Armagost, Dominic Barbagallo, Kojo Benefo, Sarah Buckley, Gerald Fattah, Elizabeth Gilmore, Hudson Hinshaw, Maddie Kahler, Larry Liu, Aaron Oman, Penny Owens, Olivia Pietanza, and Jack Rich.

Students interested in next year’s group should contact Smithhisler.