Students continue success at Model UN

Mackey Luffman, MUN/YIG Advisor
Forty University School of Nashville High School students traveled to Murfreesboro to participate in the Model United Nations conference sponsored by the YMCA of Middle Tennessee’s Center For Civic Engagement. They maintained USN’s tradition of providing leadership from the front and in the middle of the conference components. 
By Mackey Luffman, HS History Teacher & Model United Nations/Youth In Government Advisor

Amid autumn leaves
Model UN successes
inspire haiku.

Leading from the front of this year’s conference was Riya Narayan '23, serving her second consecutive year as President (i.e. Chief Justice) of the International Court of Justice. Riya has been in the ICJ component all four years of her high school career — the first as an award-winning lawyer, and three more as a justice elected by her peers.

Over in the General Assembly, the Class of 2024 led the way. Returning Girlbosses (technical term) Margot Ross '24 & Claire Gilliam '24 represented Colombia, and sponsored a resolution promoting law enforcement reforms in Latin America. Their resolution won an Outstanding Resolution Award.

Other success by juniors was provided by Indonesia, represented by Maddie Ewing '24, Kylee Abramson '24, and Laura Grace Hirt '24. Their resolution calling for revisions to the Law of the Sea as a nonviolent response to Chinese violations in the South China Sea won an Outstanding Resolution Award too.

Rounding out the parade of junior delegations, MUN stalwarts Xavier Warren '24, Isaac Spiller '24, and Henry Wykoff '24 were joined by Alexander Clinton '24 to represent Chad. They sponsored a resolution to promote sustainable rabbit husbandry in developing countries, especially those facing food crises. MUN veterans Laney Drew Hirt '24, Oliver Cheek '24, Cole Patterson '24, and Sarah Page-McCaw '24 represented Seychelles and sponsored a resolution calling for a treaty convention to address the rights and status of refugees and emigrants from island nations threatened by climate change. 

Not to be outdone, the Class of 2025 put together some powerhouse delegations that left marks all over their opposition. Caroline Keiper '25, Ellie Rothman '25, and Kati Tong '25 were joined by Izzy Aulino '26 to represent Sweden. They sponsored a resolution promoting international standards for paid parental leave. They were joined by classmates Brendan West '25, Beckett Dahir '25, Siddhi Voona '25, and Sid Pruthi '25 who represented Greece, and sponsored a resolution absorbing the climate control monitors created by the 2015 Paris Climate Accord into the United Nations and giving it international monitoring authority. Their resolution also won an Outstanding Resolution Award.

Other sophomore delegations included Haiti, represented by Tessa Chomsky '25, Jade Parella '25, Anna Picasso '25, and Erin Joyce '25; the Dominican Republic, represented by Jaya Gupta '25, Zinnia Nichols Loller '25, and Amelie Soslow '25, and Afghanistan, represented by Eleanor Molvig '25, Kasey Mooney '25, and Rhea Nachnani '25. 

Not to be outdone, the Class of 2026 rose to the challenge and jumped right into the conference. Harper Martin '26, Evan Giles '26, and Jackson Green '26 represented Poland, and Lin Zheng '26, Maeve Stevenson '26, Uma Ehrig '26, and Laura Fonseca '26 represented New Zealand. 

USN’s delegations punched above their weight in the sense that six of the eleven delegations were ranked high enough to make the General Assembly docket, and all six passed with overwhelming margins.

On top of that legislative success, three delegates — Maddie, Ellie, and Brendan — won Outstanding Statesperson Awards for their efforts in the General Assembly.

Over in the Security Council, Ophelia Cherry-Pulay ‘25 was selected through the application process to represent Mexico. Her influence in those debates and discussions had a clear impact, because her peers elected her to be the President of next year’s Security Council. 

Finally, in the General Assembly elections for next year, three USN students put their hats in the ring, and all won their offices. Brendan and Caroline were elected to be Vice-Presidents of the General Assembly, while Margot was elected to be its President. It’s a fitting return to power in the wake of Greta Li '22 as the Secretary-General position, Emily Wykoff '22 as GA Vice-President, and Riya's two years as President of the ICJ. 

We “won” Model UN. That’s not actually how the real United Nations, or diplomacy for that matter, works, but that phrase isn’t wrong, either. Please congratulate these students when you see them for a job well done, and stay tuned for announcements about this spring’s Youth In Government conference. 
    • The USN students headed to Model United Nations.

    • International Court of Justice President Riya Narayan '23 (center)

    • Outstanding Resolution Award winners: Brendan West '25, Beckett Dahir '25, Siddhi Voona '25, and Sid Pruthi '25. Brendan also won an Outstanding Statesman Award and his election for General Assembly Vice President.

    • Outstanding Resolution Award winners: Kylee Abramson '24, Maddie Ewing '24, and Laura Grace Hirt '24. Maddie also won an Outstanding Statesperson Award.

    • Sweden's delegation: Izzy Aulino '26, Kati Tong '25, Ellie Rothman '25, and Caroline Keiper '25. Ellie won an Outstanding Statesperson Award, and Caroline won her election for General Assembly Vice President.

    • Colombia (Margot Ross '24 and Claire Gilliam '24) present their award-winning resolution. Margot also won her election for General Assembly President.

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