News

Record Number GPCS Awards at Model U.N. Conference 2019

Five GPCS team members took home awards during the closing ceremony of the Maine Model UN Conference (MeMUNC) held at the University of Southern Maine, Gorham campus! That is the most awards we’ve won in a single MeMUNC conference and three awards for Australia was the most for a GPCS delegation. Check out the team photos on our Facebook page.

GPCS had a great team of 16 delegates at this annual event. Approximately 600 middle and high school students from 30 public and private schools around Maine, Vermont and New York participated in the 3-day conference. GPCS has been attending MeMUNC for 13 years now and represented Australia, Iran, Algeria, Tanzania and Haiti at this year’s conference.

Model United Nations is an academic competition where students role-play as diplomats operating in a simulated international organization. Student delegates prepare by researching a country and developing an understanding of what that country’s policy would be on one or more international topics. At the competition delegates are judged on their ability to stay in character, resolve conflicts, negotiate and write resolutions, speak publicly and exhibit knowledge of procedures.

Bret Bergst has been the advisor for 7 years now. He says, “Model UN is an outstanding extracurricular activity that reinforces and builds upon classroom lessons in economics, government, history, geography and other social sciences. Those who participate in the MeMUNC are building confidence and sharpening their leadership skills against some of the best teams in the northeast region. The research, writing, negotiating and speaking skills the students use to compete in Model UN will benefit them beyond the classroom.“

During their committee sessions student delegates debated and negotiated current issues from the agendas of various international organizations. Students in a simulation of the United Nations General Assembly considered Debunking Fake News and how countries deal with the Intellectual Property and the Right to Seeds. Our delegates also considered the Human Rights of Journalists, the Right to Asylum, the use of Education as a Means of Fighting Extremism, The Belt and Road Initiative and ending the World Opioid Crisis in various committee sessions. Also, two of our students participated in a Historical UN Human Rights Commission from 1983 where they debated solutions to the Angolan Civil War and ending Apartheid in South Africa.