Mentor High School’s Model UN Conference Goes Out With a BOOM!
Mentor High School's Model UN Team Holds Their 6th Conference This Weekend!
October 17, 2022
During NEOEA Day weekend, most students were enjoying the perfect weather outside or catching up on well-deserved sleep, but not students in Mentor Model UN. This NEOEA Day weekend, the Mentor Model UN team hosted a 2-day conference on both Friday and Saturday at the high school. This 2-day conference hosted multiple schools including Laurel, St. Ignatius, St. Edwards, Archbishop Hoban, and Madison. Delegates (students) from these schools came together to experience the interesting event that is Mentor MUN VI.
This year, Mentor MUN VI was focused on the theme of “Backsliding Democracies, Rising Autocracies”. Before the conference officially started, a Kosovo politician, Shqipe Mjekiqihttps, spoke to the delegates about her time as a foreign exchange student at Madison High School. Along with this, she spoke of the experiences she herself and others experienced while conflicts raged in her country. Delegates and advisors asked her questions regarding her experiences.
After Shqipe Mjekiqi spoke – and after a personal welcome from Superintendent Heath – it was time to start the conference. Delegates were divided between eight countries. The delegates would then act as ministers or high-ranking officials of their country. Delegates would also possess powers that only they could execute; these powers were the ab
ility to do internal military movements, squash riots, and much more.
The first order of business when the conference started was to solve external and internal affairs that were already affecting the country. However, this did not last because not long after the conference started, the first crisis broke out – one of many delegates would face in this “crisis conference.”
Throughout the conference, the Model UN team carefully constructed crises that the cabinets (countries) would have to solve, swiftly. These crises consisted of videos and papers created by the Mentor GenYes team under the direction of Mrs. Ford that told of a simulated event that posed questions and threats to many countries at the conference. For example, the first crisis reported on pro-Russian protests breaking out in neighboring countries of Russia in support of the Ukrainian war. Countries acted swiftly to this, especially those that neighbored Russia (see embedded video).
The theme of “Backsliding Democracies, Rising Autocracies” was definitely evident throughout the entirety of the conference. The United Kingdom really kicked the conference off by firing their Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng, within the first six minutes – a necessity since real-world events count in the conference and it had literally just occurred in England!
After that, many countries followed with either civil disputes or all-out chaos. For example, right from the start, China’s main goal above all else was to bring peace between Taiwan and China. They sought to do this by kindly asking (definitely not threatening nuclear war) for Taiwan to become a unified nation under China. Although, Taiwan was not able to respond because “protestors” against the reunification were rioting outside of the Taiwanese cabinet. (Advisor’s Note: Sarah Blakemore, the author of this article, was the China Chair and therefore may have a conflict of interest in this assessment!)
To simulate this riot, the organizer of the conference, Mr. Couch, turned off the lights in the Taiwanese cabinet and shut off all communication, prohibiting the use of laptops. This created unforeseen conditions that that were a direct result not of the conference planners but their own actions which now the Taiwanese cabinet had to resolve. To the Chinese cabinet’s disappointment, Taiwan did not agree to reunify after being forced by the “protestors” to back down.
Another notable event that took place was the crisis concerning the United States cabinet. With this crisis, President Biden (the Chair running the cabinet, Andrew Freeman), went missing when Air Force One “disappeared.” This created chaos in the cabinet, making Vice President Kamala Harris (the Co-Chair, Sabine Marovic) the acting president.
Crises like these were scattered throughout the conference creating a fast-moving environment within the cabinets. This forced delegates to constantly collaborate on directives (resolutions) in order to solve these crises. During these crises, countries also focused on their individual goals. For example, the Chinese cabinet’s own goal throughout the conference was to take over Taiwan and to form an established alliance with countries such as North Korea, Turkey, and Russia. Many of these goals that the cabinets held were reached by the end of the conference, but many – like in the real world – would have to be left unresolved.
Even though this conference was a little bit different from traditional conferences, delegates responded to this conference positively.
“The conference’s organization is pretty good and overall,” said Leo Bates from Archbishop Hoban, “and it has been a very well-structured conference.”
“My favorite part of the conference is how different it is from regular Model UN,” stated Josh Butler from St. Edward High School, “especially with the cabinet positions and the powers.”
By the end, the conference went out with a big boom, literally. Within the last twenty minutes, Mentor MUN devolved to what the Model UN world calls “Fun MUN”. The conference went out with a big bang with many cabinets sending nukes to their enemies, let’s just say there really was not much left of the world by the end.