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On February 15th-17th, 12 students from the Menaul Model United Nations (UN) club attended the 18th annual LoboMUN event at the University of New Mexico, organized by the university’s World Affairs Delegation club. Participants engaged in committee sessions such as the Tsar’s Last Stand, Legacy of the Mockingjay, UN Special Committee for Anomalies, UN Astrolegal Committee, UN General Assembly: Somail Wars, and the UN Resource Equity Commission. In these committees, they investigated and debated topics serious and newsworthy – like hashing out Somalia’s longstanding civil conflict, to fantastic and fun – building a new government after the end of the Hunger Games.

Menaul School has one of the most unique Model UN clubs in New Mexico, distinguished by its inclusion of international students. Menaul’s Model UN welcomes students from around the world, helping foster a truly global perspective. This diversity allows for enhanced simulation of diplomatic scenarios, providing different insights and cultural perspectives. Menaul School’s Model UN is a great example of inclusivity and global collaboration within New Mexico. “It makes a big difference when we’re at a conference simulating the African Union, and four of our delegates are actually from Africa. People always know when Menaul is at the table. It drives our American students to learn more, and to incorporate those perspectives as they prepare for conferences,” said Chris Ferrara, one of the Model UN club advisors.

Mikayla Sierra as Egeria in the Legacy of the Mockingjay committee.

Students Mikayla Sierra, Nicole Kelley, and Izzy Hale were members of the Hunger Games: Legacy of the Mockingjay committee, taking on the role of different characters from the series. As a part of the New Panem Assembly, their goal was determining the future of Panem after the fall of the Capitol. They had to make decisions on reforming a nation, such as governance, law enforcement, and citizen welfare. Drawing from their characters’ perspectives, students determined the nation’s future, weighing loyalty, status, and abilities in their decisions.

The Somalia Wars committee consisted of students Akshay Shaju, Liah Yamamura, Gabriella Cheromiah, Seeun Choi, and Ken Duong. This committee focused on critical issues such as sovereignty and government, flooding within the region, and the refugee crisis. Representing Djibouti and Italy, students spoke about how the UN could better support countries taking in Somalian refugees, how to ensure UN aid is being used appropriately, and what kind of aid is most effective in a refugee crisis.

According to Liah Yamamura, a sophomore at Menaul, events like LoboMUN offer a valuable platform to connect and engage with students from different schools. She emphasizes the important role such competitions play in obtaining essential communication skills, including knowing when to articulate thoughts, managing time effectively, improving writing abilities, and gaining formal public speaking experience.

Anir El Ouazguiti as Maria Pavlovna in the Tsar’s Last Stand committee.

Anir El Ouazguiti, a senior at Menaul, attended LoboMUN as his fourth Model UN event. Anir believes Model UN events are important for learning more about the world and broadening global perspective. He credits these events for enhancing his public speaking and leadership skills, emphasizing the importance of making prompt decisions within a committee.

According to Mikayla Sierra, president of Menaul’s Model UN, she joined the club as it offered a excellent opportunity to connect with students from other schools with similar interests. She emphasized the fact that “everyone is there because they want to be there.” Mikayla has participated in four competitions so far, with LoboMUN being her first experience in a crisis committee. Reflecting on her time there, she expressed having enjoyed her experience and was able to make new friendships.

Model UN competitions offer students invaluable real-world experience in diplomatic processes, helping them refine their skillsets and also offering networking opportunities. Engaging with global issues not only broadens their international perspective, but also challenges them to comprehend and articulate diverse viewpoints. Through collaborative problem-solving, students form connections with others from different backgrounds, creating an environment of teamwork and innovative thinking. When Menaul School says World Smart, these are the skills our students to bring to the table – first in simulations, then in real life.

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