Just before Thanksgiving, Pace Academy Model United Nations traveled to East Brunswick, NJ with Model UN sponsor Helen Smith, upper school history teacher Christine Carter, upper school Latin teacher Michelle Yancich and librarian Marty Hamburger for the Princeton Model United Nations Conference (PMUNC).
In committee sessions, some students represented countries in General Assembly committees of almost 100 other delegates, simulating the real United Nations and formulating solutions to relevant topics such as nuclear weapons and Ukrainian refugees.
Others, however, represented individual people or entities in smaller crisis committees, which answer urgent problems that are unknown before the conference, sometimes requiring students to be woken up at midnight to respond to a pressing update. “Personally, I think the sense of urgency and the different communication that comes from crises is much more realistic and fun,” said senior Kate Webb. “And despite what people may think, the midnight crises are always the most fun part.”
Students gave persuasive speeches, passed notes to share ideas, and then worked with others to craft written solutions. “PMUNC was a very fun way to learn more about other countries around the world while with my friends,” said junior Henry Gaudet.
Webb, senior Emma Beth Neville and sophomore Van Muller all received honorable mentions for their work in committee, and sophomore Claire Jiang received a verbal commendation award.
Students also reunited with Pace Academy alumni and current Princeton students India Behl, who was one of the two Secretaries-General running the conference, Kargil Behl, who staffed a crisis committee, and Paul-Louis Biondi, who chaired another committee.
Delegates remained dedicated to the task at hand, with some not even going outside for three days. However, the conference did not end just at committee. Students then ventured to the Grand Ballroom for the Delegate Dance, an event fully equipped with bouncers who escorted out rowdy delegates, where students from all committees came together.
“My favorite part was the delegate dance because it was really fun to see my new friends outside of committee,” said junior Claire Easterling.
For the last day, students also participated in “FunMUN,” ranging from superlatives to kidnapping high-ranking political leaders from other committee rooms. The conference experience was widely regarded as a positive one for all involved.
“I loved PMUNC this year,” said senior David Grice. “The delegate dance was a life changing experience!” The conference also carried significance as many seniors’ last model of their upper school experience.
The Model UN program later plans to attend Model Arab League in Atlanta this January and the North American Invitational Model UN Conference in Washington, D.C. this February.