Model UN Dominates UCONN Conference

Jessica Parillo ‘18
EE Co-Managing Editor


Jessica Parillo, Manya Kidambi, Dario Arganese, Matthew Kuroghlian, Joseph Piccolo

The weekend of November 4-6 was an exciting one for the twenty Model United Nations students participating in UCMUN, the annual conference hosted by the University of Connecticut. During the three day event, Trumbull High students worked diligently with others from the New England area to discuss, debate, and attempt to resolve pressing international issues.
Under the direction of club advisor Mr. Jack LaBarca, students spent the weeks leading up to the conference researching and preparing for a vigorous weekend of competition.

“I have a regular routine when preparing for MUN conferences,” says senior Dario Arganese. “I begin by printing out and reading the background guide that they offer…After I read it, I utilize the sources that are offered in the works cited of the background guide to gain more information regarding my country and their stance.”

Following Opening Ceremonies featuring an informative speech by UConn’s Professor of Political Science, delegates divided into their respective committees to begin a weekend of intense competitive debate.
mun-picture-2The conference was split into different committees, each with a unique topic and challenge for students to face. Included in these agendas were the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), the Disarmament and International Service Committee (DISEC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and more. Each committee gave students the opportunity to be immersed in a simulation that reflected the work of real UN delegates.

“When first arriving at the University of Connecticut I was really excited because these topics are really current and interesting,” says junior Alysha Jhaveri. “But when committee started the nerves started to set in. There were butterflies in my stomach. My stress just makes me want to work harder and try my best.”

During each of the six committee sessions, students had to accurately portray the role of whichever country they were representing. For some, this meant becoming a leader of the Middle East, or adopting the sentiments of West African nations. Whether a large or small country, all nations were expected to work together to reach a unanimous solution.

“The conference serves as a reminder that people have the power to enact change on either a local or global level,” continued Jhaveri. “We are the future of the world, so we have to stand up for what we believe in, especially when it comes to pressing issues.”

For first timers, this can seem a bit daunting. Junior and first time conference attendee Panayotis Xenakis said that, “Although the setting seemed a bit intimidating at first, I found myself in a welcoming and friendly environment and can say with confidence that overall it was an extremely positive experience…I would definitely recommend UCMUN to both newer and more experienced Model UN members.”

In the end, Trumbull High walked away with numerous awards applauding students on their preparedness and performance during committee. Among these were Dario Arganese and Matt Kuroghlian who won Best Delegate awards, Manya Kidambi who received Most Improved, and Joseph Piccolo and Jessica Parillo who both received Honorable Mentions.

“The most memorable part was hearing my name come out of my chair’s mouth at the award ceremony,” continued Arganese. “After winning the Best Delegate award for my committee, I now have the confidence that I need to succeed in future conferences that are more competitive.”

With this conference under their belt, Trumbull High School Model UN now has their sights set on attending a conference at Berkeley in California this upcoming spring. Be sure to support them in their fundraising efforts throughout the school year.

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