Franklin High School Hosts Record-Breaking Model UN Conference

Several members of the Franklin High School Model UN club won awards Nov. 4 at the club’s seventh annual Model UN Conference.

Franklin High School’s Model UN Club hosted its seventh – and largest – conference Nov. 4.

The conference attracted 375 students from 17 high schools throughout New Jersey, said Lou Guglielmo, the club’s faculty advisor.

The one-day event is seen as a “tune-up” for the more involved, multi-day Model UN conferences that are held during the remainder of the school year throughout the country.

During the conference, students were assigned as delegates to countries, and then assigned to specific committees. The students were expected to have researched the position on the particular topic taken by the country they represented, and the delegate they portrayed.

Committee sessions were held in FHS classrooms and were moderated by members of the Rutgers University Institute for Domestic and International Affairs, which holds one of the upcoming multi-ay Model UN conferences.

Awards were given at the end of the conference for a number of categories in each committee, including best delegate, most improved and best position paper.

Guglielmo said he thought the conference was so well-attended because advisors of Model UN teams saw the benefits to their students.

“We use this as a chance for new delegates to experience Model UN without investing in the four-day conference, and many advisors are recognizing now that we give them an authentic product and it’s not my kids running the committees, it’s the Rutgers (students),” he said. “It’s as close to a real simulation of the Rutgers conference as we can give them, and I think that by incorporating the conference goals for the upcoming conference, they get a chance to practice their researching, and get a chance to understand what Model UN is firsthand.”

“We try to treat everybody well and give the kids the best educational experience they can get,” he said. “This is important for them.”

Before the awards ceremony, Guglielmo told the students that they were “all winners.”

“I challenged you, especially the beginners, to remind yourselves that Model UN’s not always about the recognition, but the things that you can take away that are the intangibles, such as making friends, speaking in public, defending your opinion, researching and providing yourself with a skill set to survive in a competitive world,” he said. “Just by participating today, it’s cliché, but it’s safe to say that you’re all winners for your growth and your devotion to your academics.”

Franklin High School’s Model UN team is ranked in the top 25 in the country by BestDelegate.com, an organization that conducts Model UN training session around the world.


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