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Students Make Connections at Virtual ShawMUN Conference

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The theme of the conference was “Connection” and featured keynote speaker Hassan Al Kontar (author of Man @ the_airport), a Syrian refugee who lived in an airport for six months. 

For Mackenzie Heaney ’22, this wasn’t her first involvement with an Model United Nations conference, but she said it was one of her best experiences doing it virtual. 

“Overall it was a really fun time,” said Mackenzie. “I really liked that the topics were interesting. Mine was about the American Revolution and it was solving it differently than what was in the history books. I thought it was really fun.” 

Mackenzie has been participating in MUN since she was in Grade 9, and ShawMUN was the first conference she attended that year. This time around she was on the Historical Crisis Committee, which, she noted, was the first time she had participated in a crisis committee. 

“It was really interesting to not be in a general assembly committee, which is also a lot of fun,” she said. “There are fewer rules in the crisis committee, so it’s very open.” 

This was the first Model UN conference for Zane Huang ’22. 

“It was good, and I was so nervous before the first commission, but after the first time I spoke I started to feel more confident and kept trying,” he explained. “By the end of the conference, I was feeling really good.” 

Having learned about the conference from some of his friends, he said they helped him to want to participate. Zane was on the World Health Organization committee and he represented Japan. 

“The topic we were discussing was vaccines, and distribution of vaccines, and the mental health of people throughout the pandemic,” he said. “I enjoyed every part of the committee and everyone speaking. I think I enjoyed it the most when I was speaking, because I can feel that I was getting better each time I was talking. It was a great experience for me.” 

GNS students participated in a range of other committees including the World Trade Organization (Anthony, Olyn and Ryan), the World Health Organization (Sawyer, Justin, Sean, Eya and Brayden) and the Economic and Financial Committee (Melissa).