Mount Madonna School’s Model United Nations (MUN) Club participated in its first meet of the 2011-2012 school year on November 5-6 at Stanford University. Student participants in the meet were: Alyssa Feskanin, Lena Wiley, Pedro Aguirre, Renata Massion and Tobin Mitchell, 9th grade; Preethi Balagani, 10th grade; Amber Zeise and Kavi Duvvoori, 11th grade; Lulu Morell-Haltom and Quincy Mitchell, 12th grade.
Six of the ten students were first-time participants; and by the end of the assembly, all were enthusiastic said they are planning to continue with MUN next year. The topics at the meet were engaging and highlighted Stanford’s ‘specialty’ – crises! The MMS delegates faced earthquakes, kidnappings, bombings and mayhem in every committee, just as they thought they were doing a fine job of solving various world problems!
Quincy was part of the Warsaw Pact discussing the Bay of Pigs and Communism spreading to Africa; while Lulu, a member of the African Union, discussed the crisis in Libya. Amber, portrayed a representative to the American Second Continental Congress; Kavi, represented Nigeria on one of the Security Councils and debated the crisis in Syria; while Preethi, in her role as a security aide to the President, sat on the U.S. National Economic Council.
“I think it was a really good experience,” comments Preethi. “I liked coming up with spur of the moment ideas to deal with a crisis and learned a lot about the economy.”
Alyssa assumed the role of Surgeon General and met with the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity; while Lena served as assistant to the President of Louis Vuitton Industries.
“One interesting topic my committee did was working on the problem of counterfeit handbags,” comments Lena. “It’s important because they’ve found that profits from the counterfeit designer market are being used to fund terrorist groups.”
Tobin, as a representative from Nigeria, sat on another of the Security Councils and discussed the Mexican drug war; while Pedro, representing Portugal in the European Union (E.U.), considered border integrity and the ‘common defense.’
“In the E.U. we discussed the Greek Crisis,” says Pedro. “I knew about the economic crisis from the news but we were debating about the Schengen area and accepting refugees from Greece into other European countries.”
Meanwhile Renata, a representative to the International Committee of Museums, consulted on ways to save the Parthenon and Taj Mahal from destruction. “Acid rain is eroding the Taj Mahal,” she notes. “One of the problems we were trying to solve was how to stop the damage without affecting the structural integrity of the building.”
Parent Sumana Reddy, who has mentored the club for the past several years, said of the participating students, “They are trailblazing for Mount Madonna and hopefully will encourage others to go into that place of stretching themselves to think about global issues and find solutions, interact with other schools, and meet kids who are engaged and articulate.”
Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, Marketing & Communications
Nestled among the redwoods on 355 mountaintop acres, Mount Madonna is a safe and nurturing college-preparatory school that supports students in becoming caring, self-aware and articulate critical thinkers, who are prepared to meet challenges with perseverance, creativity and integrity. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville.