Fairfield University hosts Model UN conference for 250 tri-state high school students



Almost 250 students from high schools in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey will converge on campus on Friday, Nov. 18, for the Fairfield University Model United Nations VIII High School Conference. The annual event, organized and chaired by the University's Model UN Club, includes a full day of committee sessions on an array of timely international topics from human rights in Venezuela to Toyota Motors recalls to stability in Darfur.

"The conference is a fantastic way to involve high school students in global discussions about a variety of subjects that are pertinent to not only the United States, but the global community as a whole," said Tom Dalo '14, the 2011 co-Secretary General with Lorena Gullotta '14. "The goal of this conference is not only to bring about this awareness, but the ability to work towards resolutions to solving national and international problems."

Image: Joy GordonThe day begins at 8:30 a.m. in Gonzaga Auditorium with a keynote speech by Joy Gordon, Ph.D., professor of philosophy and co-director of the Legal Studies Program at Fairfield. Dr. Gordon is the author of "Invisible War: The United States and the Iraq Sanctions" and has published widely on international law and global governance. She hopes her speech, "Thinking About the United Nations and International Law," will inspire the young delegates to consider their place in the world.

"Understanding international law and institutions of international governance is critical for young people in becoming global citizens - with an active commitment to a world with safety, well-being and dignity for all," said Dr. Gordon.

At both the high school and college levels, Model UN encourages students to develop critical skills and awareness in politics, culture, diplomacy, research and public speaking through competition in UN simulations. Fairfield's annual conference is one of the fastest growing and most unique conferences on the high school Model UN circuit because its delegates can participate in a variety of groups, including general assemblies, special committees and crisis committees. In addition to sessions on Venezuela, Darfur and the 2010 Toyota vehicle recalls, 2011 committees will focus on Northern Ireland's "Troubles," the collapse of the American "housing bubble," the BP oil spill of 2010, pirates off Somalia, and the Romani people of Europe.

About 40 Fairfield students, including 25 Model UN Club members, are volunteering on the conference. The 14 participating teams are from: Coginchaug Regional High School, Durham, Conn.; Don Bosco Preparatory School, Ramsey, N.J.; Irvington High School, Irvington, N.Y.; Marianapolis Preparatory School, Thompson, Conn.; Mercy High School, Middletown, Conn.; Mount Vernon High School, Mount Vernon, N.Y.; New Milford High School, New Milford, Conn.; Newtown High School, Newtown, Conn.; Sleepy Hollow High School, Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.; Somers High School, Somers, Conn.; Thomaston High School, Thomaston, Conn.; Trumbull High School, Trumbull, Conn.; The Ursuline School, New Rochelle, N.Y.; and Xavier High School, Middletown, Conn.

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Posted on November 4, 2011

Vol. 44, No. 110