YMUN Delegates Go Virtual (Again)


Freshman Sydney Schiff, Junior Keira Hodum, Seniors Catherine Civitella and Danielle Lancaster, and Junior Ingrid Corpus pose for a photo during YMUN. Students participated in the event virtually.

Lucy Rubin, Staff Writer

The Benjamin School participated in its 23rd year of Yale Model United Nations from Jan. 20-23. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the surge of omicron sweeping the nation, the Yale Model United Nations leadership board decided to hold the conference virtually for the second year in a row.

Despite the untraditional format, the event maintained its rigorous schedule for the students involved with over 16 hours of Zoom sessions filled with lively discussions, negotiations, and compromises.

Danielle Lancaster, President of Yale Model United Nations, has been participating in YMUN since freshman year and had her final opportunity to go to the conference this year. When remarking on the event, she stated that it “was great for a virtual conference and I learned a lot.”

This year’s setting was an unusual one, but it was great to be able to participate, even if it was held through a virtual setting. In an attempt to connect different delegates throughout committee sessions, the Yale Model United Nations committee encouraged the sharing of social media profiles, contact information, and held social hours on Saturday, Jan. 22. The goal was to bring delegates together even if they were not together in person. Along with several different social hours and opportunities to interact with students from around the world, the YMUN committee hosted keynote speakers, had talks from college professors, and of course, provided delegates with plenty of time to discuss the important issues at hand with one another.

Ms. Sara Misselhorn, Chair of the Social Studies Department of the Upper School, helped organize and prepare students for the conference. Before the conference began, Ms. Misselhorn was tasked with the job of selecting the candidates who would attend the conference. Once the selection and registration process was complete, Ms. Misselhorn, along with the presidents of the club, sent out detailed instructions on how to write a policy paper, a document that outlines the issue at hand, defines the actions that the UN is taking to improve the issue and possible solutions that the delegate finds that will bolster the UN’s initiative to right the wrongs being discussed. After helping with the process of registration and writing policy papers, everyone was ready for the conference, and it began Jan. 20 with the orientation at 4:30 pm.

Every student was assigned different committees and countries to advocate for Ms. Misselhorn believes that YMUN grants students an excellent chance to learn about global issues.

“YMUN is a fantastic opportunity for students to explore geopolitical issues with other like-minded students across the nation and globe.” These sentiments were echoed as students came out of the conference with newfound knowledge on topics that had not previously been brought to their attention. Benjamin’s future attendance at the conference is highly anticipated, especially with the common hope that the 2023 YMUN Conference will be hosted in person.