What a difference a year makes.
In late January of 2020, the Model United Nations of Thayer Academy (MUNTA) hosted a Model U.N. Training Conference for Academy Middle Schoolers; the Upper School students offered a simulation of a World Health Organization (WHO) meeting with the following topic: the burgeoning COVID-19 crisis.
On December 11, 2021, just prior to Winter Recess, MUNTA gathered once again for its annual in-house Model U.N. Conference but did so virtually because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent need for physical distancing.
The format was once again a simulated meeting of WHO, and the topic was once again the pandemic — specifically, how best to deal with it. Veteran members Jamie Grillo '21 and Yaochen "Nicole" Li '22 chaired a lively session which worked in concert on COVID-19 vaccine development and administration.
"The evening proved an effective taste of Model UN dynamics, and the topic lived up to the hunch that it would generate heated, vigorous debate," said Upper School Foreign Language Faculty Aidan Rooney P '07, '15, MUNTA's founder and faculty advisor. "Student delegates tackled not just global considerations of distribution policy and the need to educate towards greater human trust but also considerations of national interest and funding."
Rooney said that consensus, while difficult and often frustrating, is nonetheless a global responsibility. In that spirit, he said, this latest mock WHO session concluded by combining two working papers into one and calling for an immediate vote on the resolution at hand. The resolution passed.
Rooney took time to praise the January 2020 training conference with middle schoolers, part of an Upper School-Middle School MUNTA mentoring program started by alumni Grace O' Hare '18 and Ania Howley '18. That particular training conference was led by current Co-Secretaries General Grillo and Amanda Zhang '21.
Country assignments for the Dec. 11 session included:
Amanda Fogel '23: Ecuador
Conor Mannion '23: Ireland
Jiajun "Peter" Chen '23: China
Grace Coughlin '24: Canada
Sichao "Tommy" Bi '23: Japan
Lily Sidman '22: United States
John Kuropatkin '23: Serbia
Jake Brini '22: Sweden
Michael Brini '22: Italy
Alena Mulhern '23: Spain
Arjun Sohur '22: Brazil
Xiaoyu "Rita" Zheng '23: Singapore
Abigail Greenough '24: New Zealand
Jacob Cotter '22: Germany
Christopher Cherry '24: United Kingdom
George Ubertalli '22: India
Will Counselman '22: Algeria
The Model U.N. of Thayer Academy (MUNTA) held its in-house Model U.N. Conference virtually this year because COVID-19 and the need for physical distancing.