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The Virtual Hub for the Media of the The Benjamin School's Upper School

The Pharcyte

The Virtual Hub for the Media of the The Benjamin School's Upper School

The Pharcyte

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Unveiling the Global Realm: The Benjamin School’s YMUN Journey

Students+enjoyed+a+break+from+long+committee+meetings+and+had+a+snowball+fight.+
Students enjoyed a break from long committee meetings and had a snowball fight.

Twenty-seven Upper School students and two faculty members traveled to New Haven, Conn. to attend the annual Yale Model United Nations (YMUN) tournament. Taking place from Thursday, January 18, to Sunday, January 21, the conference challenged students with a mixture of fellowship and foreign affairs, and a snowstorm. 

This trip was led by club advisors and social studies teachers Ms. Misselhorn and Mrs.Guzman. Ms. Misslehorn clarified that YMUN doesn’t have a single president. Instead, it is overseen by three senior delegates – Olivia Wells-Funk, Cory Voskanian, and Jacqueline Pare. 

This year’s YMUN group of 27 included 9 delegates who worked in the fast-paced, advanced Specialized and Crisis committees. Through 15 hours of committee sessions, the groups were all able to produce extensive resolutions to issues ranging from the transportation of dangerous goods to the 2024 Presidential Election. 

Pare’s committee personally had a great time rewriting history to make Japan the winners of the 2022 World Cup in an entertaining committee meeting.

Pare and the other delegates expressed their pride in “every single delegate for their intense preparations and for pushing themselves to practice public speaking and teamwork among some of the brightest and most eloquent students from around the globe.” 

All of the delegates before their first committee meetings.

Contrary to conventional student trips, YMUN was not just a learning experience but a dynamic competition where Benjamin students had the opportunity to shine individually in committees.  

General assemblies, or GAs, are the largest committees at YMUN and some of the most intense that Benjamin students attended. This year’s in-person committees returned to their large size and came the closest to simulating a real United Nations committee. The GAs covered a broad range of real-world topics, requiring delegates to conduct thorough research, advocate for their ideas, and work effectively with many other delegates from across the globe. 

During meetings at the YMUN conference, students are challenged to assume the roles of different countries, fostering a deeper understanding of diverse cultures and governments. Pare also emphasized the international aspect of YMUN, noting that it goes beyond merely studying other countries but that this year’s conference had a large emphasis on collaboration. 

Dev Maharaj, a sophomore, loved attending these GAs, but this year was in a crisis committee, which is a more specialized and small committee because he said it takes a lot more skill. “I loved going to these committees and assemblies and really using what I know. As a bonus, I also liked being in the cold weather because it’s too hot in Florida and I’m from Boston,” said Maharaj.  

The conference provided a unique opportunity for Benjamin students to interact with peers from around the globe. These interactions extended beyond the conference, with some delegates forming lasting friendships and maintaining connections with students they meet in their committees. 

As Betsy Farmer put it “This year’s YMUN conference gave me the opportunity to connect with people from around the world who had similar and different ideas and backgrounds than I do. At the conference I also had the chance to hear about world-wide problems, such as world health and drug addictions through meaningful discourse with members. I’ve met friends from around the world and gained friendships I would not have had if I hadn’t come on this trip. Seeing the Yale campus also gave me a good idea of what I want to do in the future”. 

Benjamin students sometimes stayed in committees until 11pm, their days filled with events. 

Pare shared some of her favorite parts of the trip, explaining that “outside of committee sessions, our delegation had a lot of time to bond while exploring New Haven. We were able to see the historic Yale Library and explore the rest of the campus, which was absolutely stunning, especially while covered in snow. We were also able to experience some great food atypical of our usual Florida scope, namely some incredible Asian restaurants! My favorite memory was having a 15-person snowball fight in the New Haven Green.” 

Students even visited the Gutenberg Bible at Yale’s Beinecke Library, which was Mrs. Guzman’s favorite part of the trip. 

 The Benjamin School’s participation in YMUN not only enriched the educational experience for its students but also reinforced the school’s commitment to nurturing informed, engaged, and globally aware citizens.

Delegates and teachers engaged in thought-provoking debates, collaborative problem-solving, and cultural exchange at the conference. 

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About the Contributor
Finley Strauss, Staff Writer
Finley Strauss is a staff writer and editor of the Pharcyde. It is her first year at the Benjamin School. Finley is excited to start working on The Pharcyde, especially on opinion pieces. She is in the honor council, JSA, debate, and mock trial. In her free time she enjoys running, spending time with friends, and going to the beach. She plans to become an attorney.

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