Model U.N. students look forward to February trip


Although the seniors are sad to be attending their final trip, they are excited to be attending once again this year.

As two buses carrying about 50 Glen Rock students pulled away from Glen Rock High School’s front doors en route to Boston, students began discussing the exciting trip that lay ahead of them in their 2015 Model UN field trip. Some were excited for the committee sessions that they would take part in, while others just dreamed of seeing the historic city, and all the features it has to offer. Once the buses returned to Glen Rock, several students began looking forward to the following year, in which they would be able to experience the memorable trip once again.

Model United Nations has been a club at Glen Rock for approximately 15 years, and it has proved to be one of the most popular clubs in the school. It is currently advised by teacher Ms. Bennin, who took over for fellow history teacher Mr. Paul McCrary. Bennin, who attended the conference last year with the student members, said that it was worth the trip.

“It went great,” Bennin said. “I had a great time. The kids really enjoyed it.”

In February 2016, some Glen Rock students will once again embark on the journey. For four days and three nights, these students will be able to experience what happens during United Nations meeting at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston, as well as giving their own opinions on different issues that are currently being discussed in the United Nations. While some students take advantage of the meetings, others spend the time looking forward to exploring Massachusetts’ capital city.

“Some choose to take committee sessions seriously and get into the experience and some don’t,” said Domenic Biamonte (’17), who attended last year’s trip and looks forward to attending this year’s trip as well.

Despite the choice that students have as to how much to get involved, several students, like Biamonte, feel that participating in the sessions provides them with the full United Nations experience.

“Putting some effort in and trying to get involved makes the trip more entertaining,” Biamonte said.

Even if the topics that the groups are discussing do not interest all the students, the participants are still given the opportunity to meet new students and share common ideas. With over 1,000 students attending the conference from all across the U.S., those in the meeting are given the opportunity to talk to students from several different states, an opportunity that they would not have been given in their classroom back home.

Students are assigned a group in which they work in the meeting with. They are also assigned a topic to talk about and a country to represent. Based on research, the students must figure out what their respective country would think about the topic, and they must side with that opinion. These topics include human rights, hunger in developing countries, economics, and other issues that are currently being debated across the world.

Although several students are excited to go based on their memories from last year, many have not experienced the committee sessions and are hesitant to participate.

“They will be nervous,” Bennin said. “There will be more than 1000 students from across the country there.”

Despite the apparent nerves of the new members, Bennin says that they have done their best to prepare for the trip.

“We have held practice sessions showing them how the meeting will run and how to find their session.”

With such a big trip, the students and advisers needed to work together to raise enough money to go on the trip. However, their success in previous years has allowed them to raise a sufficient amount of money for this year’s trip and the trips in years to come. In previous years, the students have held a candy sale to raise money. This year, however, they decided to drop the candy sale from their agenda and focus on bake sales.

The planning for the trip proved somewhat difficult for the advisers. Since Boston University hosts the conference and works on planning with the hotel, one of the biggest difficulties was working with Boston University students, who were studying for upcoming exams. In order for the communication between the advisers and the students to occur, both needed to find a time when they were free.

Aside from communicating with Boston University students and running meetings, the advisers work in other aspects in order to make the trip a success. Despite the difficulties, they have all stepped up to the task.

“There are a lot of different moving parts,” Bennin said. “There are rooms, bussing, activities. Kids don’t see it all.”

All the planning and hard work that the advisers put into the trip paid off in the end. The trip was a success, and it created a positive educational experience to the 50 students that went. In addition, the majority of the students enjoyed the experiences outside of the sessions. The success of the trip was shown in the attendance of the upcoming trip. The buses this year will be carrying 60 students as opposed to last year’s 50. The club hopes that the popularity will continue to grow in years to come.

Although many students are looking forward to the trips that they will attend in the future, for some, this will be their final experience of meeting new kids from around the country, being exposed to the process of United Nations meetings, and enjoying the 90 square miles that Boston has to offer.

“For some students, this is their final year,” Bennin said. “Some of the seniors have been going to this trip for four years now.”

Despite the sad realization that this is their final trip to Boston, those seniors, along with the rest of the 60 students that are attending the field trip, will hope to enjoy every minute of their four days and three nights in Boston.

“It was a great experience,” Biamonte said, “and we have even more people this year.”