the westminster news
Published by the students of Westminster School
By Chip Genung ’25, Maya Tavares ’24, Wills Erda ’24
Promptly after classes on Thursday, Jan. 19, twenty-two dedicated Westminster students filled into two toaster buses and drove down the hill. After an hour of driving, they found themselves on the steps of the one and only Yale University. But why were twenty-two of Westminster's most intelligent and talented students in New Haven? To attend Yale Model United Nations of course!
Every year, Yale hosts one of the largest Model UN conferences in the country, welcoming roughly 1,500 high school students from around the world. Due to COVID-19, the last two conferences have been held online, so for all students (except seniors), this was their first time going in-person. Over the course of four days, students debated in an attempt to solve the geopolitical obstacles facing the world today. Below, Chip, Maya, and Wills each talk about their experience at YMUN.
Chip Genung ’25: Yale Model UN was a great experience. There were many fun aspects. For example, I got to know so many people from all over the world, and it is cool that they all shared interests similar to mine. My committee was a historical crisis committee that took place during the time of Alexander the Great. It taught me an immense amount about the ancient world and the politics that took place during it. Last year, I did YMUN, but it was online. It was still fun, but this year’s in-person conference was a way better experience as I got to actually interact with other delegates outside of the committee. I really enjoyed it and I will definitely go back next year.
Maya Tavares ’24: Yale model UN was not only an enlightening experience but a fun and engaging trip that taught me how to branch out and meet new people. I especially loved the foreign community within my committee and bright Yalies. I loved interacting with the people in my committees, as well as students from Westminster. This was a trip I will never forget! Huge shout out to Ms. Heckman and Mrs. Wos for chaperoning us throughout the trip. They were awesome guardians and mentors!
Wills Erda ’24: It had been two years since my previous foray into a real MUN experience, Covid having thwarted several plans. Making my return to the smaller crisis communities, I soon fell in love with our committees' struggle for a united Ireland free of English rule. While online MUN still has much to offer, I was soon reminded why I missed the in-person conferences so much. From the first night’s committee session, we had staged a rally walking around the dark Yale Campus screaming “I-R-Land” as loud as we could. The following days continued to be some of my best MUN experiences, not only with the engaging debate I shared with my fellow Irishmen, but also with a full political race and debate, a state funeral, and another march this time to the British parliament. Tragedy struck, however, on the second day: I was assassinated (despite having hired 26 additional security guards). Gone was my powerful character that was head of the Republic of Ireland, in his place I was reincarnated as a lowly activist. It was experiences like these that add so much flavor and fun to MUN. It was only with constant diplomacy, negotiation, and a bit of behind-that-back scheming that I was able to rise once again. Model UN is many things: engaging, fun and educational. It is something I love, and encourage all to try.