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GNS Students Learn the Art of Compromise

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Middle and Senior School Model UN students had the opportunity to take part in PacificMUN in Vancouver, where they were able to use their critical thinking skills in a variety of ways. From January 17 to 19, GNS students engaged in debates about international affairs and problem solving on different hypothetical crises.

“It was a really interesting experience,” said Gabby MacPherson ’21. “It’s always fun going to the Vancouver conferences. It’s such a different atmosphere than all of the Victoria ones. You meet so many more people because people are coming from all over Canada and all over the United States.”

Gabby was part of the United National Security Council and represented China. She said it was a fun time, and something she enjoyed.

“We talked about the South China Sea conflict and the Balochistan conflict,” she explained. “We had to figure out how to come up with a compromise between all of the nations that had very strong opinions on the issue.”

Other committees included the Disarmament and International Security Committee, United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime Committee and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

As PacificMUN is a larger conference, the students were able to take part in a few more opportunities than they have had before. Ava Dryden ’21 was in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations committee, which is a committee she had never been part of before.

“I was in the ADEAN committee, which I had never heard of before this conference, so it was cool to look into a different perspective on the UN, instead of just your general assembly, a few crises and ADHOC ones that I have heard before, but this conference opened my perspective up to new opportunities within the MUN community.”

PacificMUN is the first conference of 2020, and many of the students say it’s a great way to kick the year off.

“It’s where it all starts for a lot of people,” said Jessica Soule ’20. “I think everyone had a great time and learned a lot. I like it because the MUN community is like a family to me, so I got to see all my friends, meet new people and hang out with the GNS MUN team — it was great.”

Jessica was part of the Silicon Valley committee, which she says was one of a kind and something she hadn’t seen before.

“We were all CEOs and head executives of different corporations,” she said. “Another thing that made it unique was it was half crisis. Since we were all Silicon Valley companies we had a big data breach that exposed all Facebook users and Twitter users data. So, as companies, we had to form alliances … we wrote press releases, directives and ended up catching the hacker.”

For Marisa Smith ’21, it was her first Vancouver conference, and she said it was a different experience than the previous Victoria ones she has been too.

“You just get to hang out with a lot more people and meet a lot of different people,” she said. “I was in one of the specialty committees… we went undercover to different committees, so that was a lot of fun. It wasn’t something I had done before, but I enjoyed it. It was a generally rewarding experience.”

Congratulations to all the students who participated at PacificMUN!