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Acorn Newsmagazine

Acorn Newsmagazine

The Student News Site of Royal Oak High School

Acorn Newsmagazine

Royal Oak Model United Nations

ROMUN attends the largest Model U.N. conference in North America
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This past February ROHS’s Model U.N. club went to the nation’s capital for the North American Invitational Model UN Conference. They met with teams from all over the globe to compete and exchange ideas. Model UN is a place for collaboration, looking at different perspectives and learning about global interaction. They work to find solutions to global problems. Model U.N. is run by teacher advisors Gabrille Buttazzoni and Brittney Laurent. According to Laurent, the two are a “dynamic duo” as they have similar knowledge and passion for the United Nations.
“Buttazzonis’ expertise in debate, public speaking, and writing skills pair well with my expertise in the social sciences to give our delegates literally all of the support they need to continue our sterling reputation of understanding, diplomacy, and resolve,” says Laurent.
The club’s student leaders are seniors Allyson Gilliland and Nina Hall. Gilliland is the Secretary General; she is responsible for the logistics that support the club. Hall is President of the Assembly; she leads meetings and deals with the public.
So what exactly does Model U.N. do? Model United Nations is an extra-curricular in which students perform an ambassador role while debating global topics such as gender equality, global security, climate change, human rights, and more. Members attend conferences typically organized by high school or college MUN clubs. In these conferences they are presented with a problem in which they must use their global and political knowledge to produce a solution. The idea is that through public speaking, leadership, critical thinking, and research, students are able to build a toolbox of life skills, expanding their knowledge and awareness of global affairs.
“Essentially, we simulate problems that the United Nations have faced in history and in real-time” says Laurent.
Inside the conference, our ROMUN team participated in what is coined the largest high school Model U.N. conference in North America. The conference was set to take place beginning Thursday and ending Sunday . It consisted of 40 different committees; many of which are currently represented in the actual United Nations, with multiple having housed our own raven delegates. These committees include DISEC [Disarmament and International Security], OIC [Organization of Islamic Cooperation], and Chapultepec Peace Accords. Inside these committees the delegates represent real policymakers. The whole conference does not consist of rankings, it’s all about one’s collaboration with peers and ability to compromise.
As far as the team’s success, Buttuzoni spoke to the group’s effort,
“I would say that we did fairly well. What some people have a hard time grasping is that Model UN is not like sports; there is no one desired “winner,” just like there isn’t one decided “winner” when actual policy is created and carried out in real life. The goal is collaboration and diplomacy for the betterment of all, and that sometimes requires sacrifices and/or compromises.”
The large scale of this conference was especially important as it allowed for the team to collaborate with many different people and individual perspectives. The conference is centered around the balance between individualism and group collaboration. These different perspectives and ideas helped each team grow as they learned from each other and find new ways for future leaders to barter peace.
“I absolutely love the skills, networking, and experiences that it grants our students to gain. Those experiences are unique to the club and are usually only gained once people enter college. Therefore, our members have a leg-up on many of their peers by working in these group scenarios” says Gilliland.
Following the four day conference the club was able to extend their visit and see the historical sites of Washington D.C. In just two day they were able to tour the White House, meet and interview the ambassadors of Republic of Equatorial Guinea and Mozambique two of the countries represented by ROMUN at the conference, explore the Smithsonian Museum of American History, the National Holocaust Museum, visit the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the WWII Memorial.
After a busy week discussing real world issues and seeing just a few of the sites D.C. has to offer, the ROMUN club returned to school. When asked what she wished more people knew about Model U.N. Laurent said
“I desperately want Acorn readers to know that Model UN is NOT the “hard, time-consuming, and smart people” club that it gets stereotyped as. We are super welcoming of all levels of experience, passions, and personalities! We will teach you everything you need to know and it is minimally time-consuming.”
Buzzazzoni expressed similar feelings,
“Our team works really hard to make sure that everyone feels included; this is not a club that is open to only certain people. This is a club that is open for anyone wanting to learn more about the world and how to change it for the better.”
ROMUN is a place for students to discuss their individual ideas and are looking for new minds to further extend the perspective of the club. The club is a positive environment accepting of all, they are hoping to extend opportunities like the Washington D.C. conferences to more students and are optimistic about the growth of the club.

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About the Contributor
Lilliana Heline, Web Editor
Hi! My name is Lilly Heline and I am a Senior here at ROHS. This is my 2nd year on the Acorn and first year as web editor! I'm super excited this year for the start of the Acorn website. Outside of school, I love reading, travelling, and spending time with friends. I also play softball for the high school and am the starting varsity pitcher. My favorite movie is Fast and Furious, and my favorite flowers are Blue Hydrangeas. I am super excited for my last year at ROHS!

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