Arlington U.N. group takes part in Dartmouth conference

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Students representing the Arlington Regional Model United Nations & Civic Engagement Clubs (ARMUN) attended the Dartmouth University Model U.N. Conference recently. 

As members of the eight student team, there were four Arlington students: two from Arlington High, one from Ottoson and one home-schooled AHS freshman.

Other students on the team included two students who attend Winchester High School and a home-schooled senior from Medford and a home-schooled junior from Waltham.

The students who were part of the ARMUN team for this conference, with their school, grade and their committee assignment and committee topic for the conference, were:

-- Ashby Loshin, AHS senior, Social, Humanitarian & Cultural Committee; topics: International Abortion and the Kurds.
Aleksander Makowka, AHS sophomore, Disarmament & International Security Committee, the Regulation of Drones (UAWs) & Anti-Terrorism in Post-Conflict Regions.

-- Juliette Ortiz, Ottoson eighth grader, Special Political & Decolonization Committee, The Future of South Sudan.

-- Charlotte Kilroy, Arlington home-schooled freshman, U.N. Human Rights Commission, LGBT Purges in Chechnya and The Right to Privacy in the Digital Age.

-- Gabriello Adler-Abramo, Medford home-schooled senior, co-head delegate of the team, European Union, Shifting Power in a Post-Brexit World and Terrorism after the Fall of the Islamic State.

-- Thyra Roller, Winchester High School sophomore, Economic and Financial Committee, Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency & the Gender Wage Gap.

-- Nicole Hu, Winchester High School sophomore, U.N. Environmental Programme, Sustainable Agriculture and Toxic Waste.

All seven of these students immediately above represented the nation of Finland in their committees. 

Adam Goulet, a Waltham home-schooled junior, is the club's co-head delegate, student adviser/intern. He is on the Ukraine Current Crisis Committee, with the role of the current prime minister of Ukraine.

Goulet was assigned to this committee, which operates differently from others at Model U.N.; instead of preparing for known topics and issues, he had to prepare for a committee that was going to begin with a situation on a certain historical date, but then be prepared to respond to events that would unfold during the committee and were unknown as he prepared.

His only way to do this is to understand well the general situation and the person he is representing, including motivations, priorities and interests. No one knows how a crisis committee will turn out at the beginning of a conference.

The students spent more than 16 hours in committee sessions over the three days of the conference debating their topics and seeking solutions that could solve the problems of the international community related to their topics that could be agreed to by a majority in the committee. Events took place from Friday, April 6, to Sunday, April 8. 

They also went to an information session and on a tour with Dartmouth admissions, and attended opening ceremonies of the conference for which the keynote speaker was, according to the students, perhaps the best speaker at such an event they have heard.  And Saturday night they also had the chance to have a team dinner and a time as a team to share about the progress in their committee and the experience they were having at the conference.

For these students, and the other members of the high school ARMUN Club, the rest of the spring brings these chances to participate -- in a high school crisis conference on April 28, to volunteer at the Housing Corp of Arlington's Walk for Affordable Housing and in the U.N. Association of Greater Boston RMUN Conference on May 18. In addition, they begin to plan for summer activities and for next year, including deciding what conferences and major trips the high school club will undertake.

If you are interested in more information about the ARMUN high school club, or about the middle school club, which is open to fifth through eighth graders (both open to any student from any school/home school of appropriate age and grade), please contact Kim Holt, Club (volunteer) Director at kimkayholt[@]

This news summary was published Wednesday, April 25, 2018.