MODEL UN LEADERS MENTOR MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS DURING LOCAL MUN CONFERENCE
The Cleveland Council on World Affairs (CCWA) runs two Model UN conferences per year specifically targeted at local middle school students in addition to its three High School MUN conferences and its partnership with St. Ed's at our CLEIMUN Conference as well. On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, over 350 middle school students from across Greater Cleveland gathered at John Carroll University for the first CCWA Middle School MUN Conference of the year. Eight Edsmen Model UN members provided service and leadership by chairing a range of committees at the conference, including experienced Model UN members and first time members who took on their very first chairing assignments.
Richard Perrins '20, Zeke Schmiedl '20, John Foertch '21 and Aris Dashiell '21 served as Head Chairs while Matt Boepple '21, Sebastian Vanegas '21, Sam Richardson '22 and Brian Clark '23 served as Deputies. Edsmen worked together to regulate, control and direct debates while providing assistance and guidance on procedure, good practice and correct analysis of the issues on the agendas that each middle school team defended.
"I learned that a lack of experience can be aided by preparation and desire. A lot of the middle school students that I supervised weren't completely aware of the procedural rules that govern MUN conferences, but their knowledge of the topic at hand and their drive to solve it certainly surprised me," says Richard Perrins '20. "It was particularly powerful to work with these students because I was in their shoes just a short while ago. My middle school did not have a MUN team, so I am happy to help contribute to their learning experience in a way I had never personally experienced. Starting to work towards one's passions early is so beneficial to one's future success, and I was glad I was able to be a part of it."
"This experience was extremely positive and even strengthened my own knowledge of many of the specific rules and procedures of MUN," says Samuel Richardson '22. "As the conference went on, it was great to see how the middle school students were taking the advice I was providing and it brought me back to my past experiences in middle school MUN and reminded me of my beginning in MUN. This conference made me think of the fundamentals of MUN and I got to see the way MUN brings so many people together. It also allowed me to become more aware of my leadership style and challenged my diplomatic skills."
"Our Edsmen performed magnificently, chairing with professionalism and appropriate empathy, using their solid grasp of procedure together with a caring and supportive approach very effectively indeed. They thus flew the St. Ed's flag boldly and positively," says Director of International Programs Mr. Michael Perrins. "In regards to their interactions with the middle school Model UN students, our Edsmen were inspirational and effective and served as peers the younger students could look up to. Through this experience, our Edsmen further enhanced their own understanding and expertise in the 'MUNiverse' and practiced St. Ed's 'first we model' principle and our Holy Cross charisms of hospitable service and leadership."