VTHS students act out Model UN

11 Jun 2018 | 03:16

If you walked into the middle of the recent intrascholastic Model UN competition at Vernon Township High School, you would have a hard time determining that it was simply a room full of teenagers.
Using speeches, responses and both open and timed caucuses, the well-trained group debated the Rohingya Migrant Crisis currently happening in Myanmar. Students had selected a variety of countries to represent, from Venezuela to China to Russia and wrote detailed position papers, advocating for their country’s point of view during the competition. The breadth and depth of their knowledge was impressive, especially as they argued the finer points. For example, Jameson Parker, representing Russia, suggested the Rohingya were actually legal immigrants since Myanmar had no written proof that they were illegal. Myanmar, represented by D.J, McQuillan, shot back with, “Do you have written records of your own illegal immigrants?”
Of course, no country does.
The situation in Myanmar is that the Muslim Rohingya are a minority of migrants who have fled Myanmar amid a backdrop of ethnic cleansing. Students were challenged with devising a solution for the displaced and persecuted Rohingya migrants. Students worked diligently to represent their country’s perspective and offered potential resolutions to solve this problem.
Parker, a senior and co-president of Model UN said, “I love that Model UN takes a real life issue and allows us as students to discuss and debate such an important issue.”
Mr. Kelsey Falkowski and Mr. Matt Trokan, advisors of Model UN, both affirmed their admiration for their students’ hard work and ability to put forth plausible solutions for such an intricate problem.
Jameson Parker and Ciara Clarkin won Distinguished Delegate, David Rusnak won Best Position Paper and Dan McKeon won Best Delegate. This was the first time the competition was held in-house because a snowstorm prevented the team members from making the regional competition this past winter.
The advantage was that VTHS faculty and students were able to enjoy the results of so much research and preparation.