BC Hosts First Model UN
Local High School Students Gather For Inaugural Conference
Published: Monday, December 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
Boston College Model United Nations (BCMUN) hosted its inaugural meeting for regional high schools, EagleMUNC, on Dec. 1 in the Irish Room of Gasson Hall. The conference, which focused on promoting a high standard of both intellectual and enjoyable debate among high school Model United Nations delegations, was the first in BC’s history.
EagleMUNC provided opportunities for its attendees to engage in the varying political and academic resources of the University, including training sessions and meetings with the BC Admissions Office for competitive college applicants, as well as access to discussion with professors and club leaders on global political issues.
The opening ceremony, led by BCMUN president Christopher Fitzpatrick, A&S ’13, launched the conference on a historic note, highlighting the simulation of solutions to geopolitical tensions and the educational aspects of its intensive crisis integration committees.
Fitzpatrick, a member of the Honors Program and coordinator of the Clough Center Junior Fellows Program at BC, also introduced the keynote speaker, Kathleen O’Toole, BC ’76. O’Toole, who was also the first female police commissioner of Boston, is currently the Chief Inspector of the Garda Inspectorate, the police force of Ireland, and spoke mostly about her experiences with improving the effectiveness of militaristic and policing strategies in Northern Ireland.
“The police practices of the past in Belfast were really more those of a military than a community police service,” O’Toole said. “We need to work with our community—to be there for people in need is more of a vocation than a job.” O’Toole’s opening reflection on her unique work with policing committees in Northern Ireland allowed EagleMUNC delegates to see how development within one’s own field of expertise can result in an improved system of governmental policy.
Braeden Lord, Secretary General of EagleMUNC and A&S ’15, also addressed conference-goers during the event with a nod to the importance of the organization’s presence at BC. “Today, BCMUN will proudly play host to one of the most interactive, innovative, and educational new conferences on the circuit. We believe that [BCMUN] truly is a major addition to BC life and hope to be a major success,” Lord said.
The day’s events commenced promptly at 10 a.m. and lasted until 5:30 p.m.: a nearly eight-hour schedule consisting of four different committees: UN Security Council (UNSC), UN Environment Program (UNEP), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and the Good Friday Agreement Negotiations in Northern Ireland committee.
Each committee was based on a specific background guide—a report of current issues regarding each individual committee’s global region distributed to delegates by EagleMUNC officers—and aimed to promote explanatory discussion toward a solution for their chosen locale.
Three of the four committees examined the current environmental, political, and social state of affairs in the Asian Pacific, while the fourth simulated the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland, connecting BC’s Jesuit principles and Irish heritage with a pivotal historical conflict.
Under the direction of a production team comprised of film studies majors, the conference also documented the events that unfolded through a “simulation documentary,” a mock-documentary highlighting committee interactions and the impact of the creative solutions they arrived at.
The event’s positive outcome reflected the collaborative dedication of BCMUN and EagleMUNC, and places BC among a prestigious list of regional hosts for Model UN, including Boston University, Harvard University, and Yale University. BCMUN has also been ranked 22nd of all North American teams in 2011 by Bestdelegate.com, an education company and national online publication of all things Model UN.
The success of the conference puts BC in the national spotlight of college level debate and ensures its contention as a serious player in the world of Model UN.