On March 30 and March 31, twelve Governor Livingston students competed at the Seton Hall Model United Nations (SHUMUN) conference. These students represented various countries and people in six different committees, with topics ranging from modern world issues to historical councils.
SHUMUN provided two different types of experiences. For those in general assembly, delegates represented countries debating solutions to current world issues such as climate change, the Ukrainian civil war, freedom of press, and the Uighur crisis (the rise of extremists). Debating climate change, GL junior Amelia Gordon represented the nation of Bangladesh. “Bangladesh is very vulnerable to climate change as a small country. [In the conference, we used different strategies]. We found it helped when we got a lot of small, third world countries together.” Gordon’s experience at the conference challenged her diplomatic skills in a fun yet rigorous environment.
Other students represented people in three different crisis committees. These crisis committees debated one of three topics: the future of America during the Gilded Age, the new president of Brazil, and the fate of Napoleon's court. Delegates in the Gilded Age represented large business leaders and activists during the time period to determine the future of trusts. In Brazil, delegates represented members of the government and the mafia to look ahead and elect a new president. In France, the court of Napoleon met to deal with the future of the French Constitution, the French populace, and the military, after the return of Napoleon.
After an exciting and rewarding two day conference, the GL Model UN team met positive results. Sophomore Caitlin Dougherty, who acted as Alexandre Tombini in the Brazilian Corruption simulation, and Junior Tony Ho, who acted as Jane Addams in the Gilded Age, both won Verbal Commendations. Junior Jessica Zhao won Honorable Mention as John D. Rockefeller in the Gilded Age. After the conference, Dougherty was still beaming over her win, “I was not expecting an award and I was really excited and really happy. It definitely makes me more excited to go back [to another conference]. I got home and I said, ‘I’m ready to go next weekend!’”
GL Model UN advisor Mrs. Jacqueline Bartlett regarded the event as both productive and informative. She stated, “[SHUMUN] is very supportive and encouraging for first time delegates. They send out resources to our delegation to make sure everyone is prepared. For veterans, they offer many interesting crisis committees to challenge the delegates. I am always so impressed that our delegates dedicate so much time to these conferences and are so enthusiastic.” GL’s MUN team wrapped up another successful conference to round out the final conference of the school year.