Oak Hill Delegates Display Everyday Justice, Wisdom, and Courage at Model UN
Model United Nations (Model UN) is a worldwide organization that gives students in middle school, high school, and college the opportunity to simulate the research, debate, and problem-solving of the real UN.
This year, Oak Hill Academy was excited to participate in Christian Brothers Academy’s 8th Annual Middle School Model UN. The event took place on Friday, 16 April, 2021. Although CBA has held all previous events on their own campus, this year they hosted the event virtually due to on-going measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Most of Oak Hill’s students were together on Oak Hill’s campus, gathered in one of five rooms by topic (see below), socially distanced and wearing masks.
Spoiler alert: Oak Hill performed extremely well, earning numerous individual awards and the coveted Best Large Delegation Award for our entire school!
In Model UN parlance, each school sends a “delegation” to the event, and every student adopts the role of a “delegate” to the “committee” for their topic. At this year’s event, students from eight schools attempted to pass resolutions on five topics:
- the Berlin Wall in 1986
- International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA): North Korea
- UN Women: equality in the Middle East
- NCAA 2020: COVID-19 and athletics, and right of publicity for student athletes
- United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA): colonization of Mars
The following Oak Hill students accepted the challenge of this year’s event:
- 6th grade: Dimitrios Giannakopoulos, Henry Griffith, Emory Herbruck, Buddy Levy, Ariana Li, Luli Mitchell, Aanya Patel, Hannah Pollak, Ethan Shargorodsky, Isabella Walsh, Audrey Wei, Julien Wong
- 7th grade: Georgia Attardi, Guru Dhananjay Chauhan, Felix Chiu, Hope D’Orsi, Sophia Hare, Daniel Josovitz, Vincent Li, Katherine Mirne, William Plank, Kate Schweikert, Annabel Sparano, Luca Tarantini, Miranda Ziemba
- 8th grade: Nick Giannatasio, Andrew Lin, Leena Mirchandani
For each of the five committees, CBA offers five individual awards:
- Best Delegate
- Outstanding Delegate
- Honorable Mention
- Best Position Papers (two)
Out of 25 possible individual awards, we won nine. And in the NCAA committee, we won four of the five. Here are the awards that Oak Hill delegates earned by committee:
- Berlin Wall
- Katherine Mirne: Best Position Paper
- IAEA: North Korea
- Annabel Sparano: Best Delegate
- UN Women
- Audrey Wei: Best Position Paper
- Leena Mirchandani: Outstanding Delegate
- Dimitrios Giannakopoulos: Honorable Mention
- Leena Mirchandani: Best Position Paper
- Hope D’Orsi: Best Position Paper
- UNOOSA: Mars
- Julien Wong: Outstanding Delegate
- Guru Dhananjay Chauhan: Honorable Mention
Our students’ passion, hard work, and beautiful performance earned Oak Hill the school-wide award of Best Large Delegation for the fourth year in a row. But the awards are mere signs of success, incidental to the true prizes: intellectual growth and personal excellence.
Model UN asks a lot of its middle school participants: in-depth historical research, clear writing, persuasive speaking, resilience, authentic listening, empathy, creativity, and imagination. Students are forced to think on their feet, answer questions on the fly, and compose complex arguments in cooperation with complete strangers in the span of mere minutes. Oak Hill students, under the close guidance of their faculty mentors, Dr. Joseph Lipp and Mrs. Linda Vacca, displayed outstanding justice, wisdom, and courage at this year’s event.
In some ways, Oak Hill’s Model UN performance was outstanding — since it stood out from the rest in obvious ways (e.g., winning 36% of individual awards). In other ways, however, Oak Hill’s performance was normal — since such personal and collective displays of justice, wisdom, and courage happen here everyday.