CLEVELAND One Monroeville student received the Gavel Award and two received honorable mention at the Cleveland Council on World Affairs Model United Nations (MUN) conference Friday at Cleveland State University.
Sophomore Adam Mastroianni took home the prestigious gavel award, while junior Tori Rogers and senior Randall Littlejohn were awarded honorable mention for their participation in the 64th biannual conference. More than 18 Cleveland area schools and 300 students attended. Monroeville was the only school from Huron County that participated.
Model U.N. allows students to experience a mock United Nations session where they debate global issues. Each school picks countries to represent, then forms delegations of one to two people to send into each committee. Before attending, each delegation submits a position paper explaining their nation's view on the topics to be discussed. Committees are modeled after actual U.N. groups, from the Commission on Population and Development to the Security Council. The goal of the two-day session is for students to discuss and solve world problems from the point of view of their selected country, putting their solutions into a formal document called a resolution that the committee will either accept or reject.
This year, Monroeville chose to represent China and Iran. The school has taken part in Model U.N. for three years, with past countries including the United States and Israel. Fifteen students comprised this year's Model U.N. team.
Awards are given to delegations who accurately represent their nation's policies, debate well, and demonstrate deep knowledge of their topic. In each committee, two honorable mention awards, two Excellent Delegation awards, one Superior Delegation award, and one Outstanding Delegate Gavel Award are given. Rogers and Littlejohn, Monroeville's Chinese delegation to the World Health Organization, received one of the honorable mention awards for their debating skill and work on two resolutions. They both agreed winning it was not easy, especially being among a plethora of very prominent private Cleveland schools.
"Indonesia was always standing up and saying 'I think blah, blah, blah.' He was a really good speaker, though," Littlejohn said.
For Rogers, just accepting the award was the hardest part. "I was afraid I was going to fall on my face walking up there ... I thought my heart was going to burst I was so nervous," she said.
Mastroianni won the Gavel award for representing China's foreign policy well, enunciating his points effectively, and keeping the committee on topic through constant participation. He has previously won the Excellent Delegation and honorable mention award. The first year he participated, the position paper he submitted was chosen to be the example paper exhibited that year on the Model U.N. Web page. Besides a certificate, the Gavel Award includes the actual gavel used by the moderator of the Martini's committee, the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Both Rogers and Littlejohn said Model U.N. is as enjoyable as it is educational. "Model U.N. is a fun way to experience what other countries are going through and learn about their policies," Rogers said.