Students participating in Loomis Chaffee's Model United Nations organization turned in outstanding performances both individually and as a team at several model government conferences this school year.
"It's been the most successful year in the school's history," said Rachel Engelke, faculty advisor to the Model U.N. organization, which includes 40 students across all class years.
In November, a dozen experienced Model U.N. students traveled to Budapest, Hungary, with Rachel and fellow faculty member Alec McCandless to take part in the Yale Model Government Europe Conference during Thanksgiving Break. Similar to Model U.N. conferences, the European conference simulates political and diplomatic interactions as they take place within the European Union, rather than the United Nations. In Budapest, the Loomis team won Outstanding Delegation honors, which is the equivalent of second place. Several Loomis students also took home individual honors at the European conference, and the group enjoyed exploring the history and culture of Budapest during their week-long stay.
On the heels of the success in Europe, a team of 27 Loomis students took home the top prize, Best Delegation, at the Yale Model United Nations Conference 2018 in the highly competitive, large-school category. The conference was held at Yale University's New Haven, Connecticut, campus in January.
In February, 19 Loomis Model U.N. students capped off the team's winning season by taking home nine individual awards at the Boston Invitational conference.
Senior Ramesh Shrestha, head delegate for the Loomis team this year, has participated in six conferences since he joined the organization as a sophomore, and he has earned Best Delegate (top honors) twice and Outstanding Delegate three times.
"The most challenging part of Model U.N. for me was effectively communicating to the younger members strategies and skills I have learned throughout my years of [experience]," Ramesh said. "We took a novel approach this year by compiling a large document with Model U.N. lessons, tips, and tricks so that everyone on our team could refer to it."
Senior Yuyang Zhang chose to explore specialized and crisis committees at this year's conferences, a departure from her previous experiences. She said participating in Model U.N. keeps her informed about current events and teaches her the importance of creative thinking in international diplomacy.
"Model U.N. conferences push and challenge you," noted junior Liam Scott. "But when you're working on clauses at three in the morning, you realize how much you really love it. ... Some of my best friends and memories are because of Model U.N., and I'm so glad I decided to join sophomore year."
Connect for a complete listing of individual awards at the 2017–18 conferences.