Georgetown Students Host Model United Nations Conference
Two hundred Georgetown students braved a severe snowstorm to host the fifty-first North American Invitational Model United Nations Conference (NAIMUN LI) in February 2014.
NAIMUN is an annual, fully student-run Model UN conference for thousands of national and international high school students.
NAIMUN LI was hosted by the Georgetown International Relations Association, (GIRA), an independent group founded by Georgetown undergraduate students to promote youth education and awareness of international affairs.
Model UN exposes high school students to international affairs through simulated exercises in diplomacy and problem solving.
NAIMUN LI, led by Secretary-General Pavan Rajgopal (SFS‘15) and Executive Director Sarah Pemberton (SFS‘15), grouped students into committees designed to enhance their research, writing, public speaking, and debating skills. The 38 diverse committees spanned seven categories: general assemblies; economic and social councils; regionals; councils, boards, and courts; cabinets; the U.S. national security apparatus; and the press corps.
In addition to in-committee debates on international issues, conference participants benefited from Washington, D.C.'s international resources. The conference featured local guest speakers with backgrounds in academia, diplomacy, philanthropy, and military affairs. Delegates also had a chance, despite the weather, to take tours at various embassies, the Pentagon, Capitol Hill, the monuments, and museums as a way to explore political and cultural aspects of the nation’s capital.
While on campus, high school students got to know Georgetown through campus tours and “Hilltop Madness,” an event at the Hilton where Georgetown student groups performed and promoted their organizations.
NAIMUN leaders incorporated this programming to provide a more holistic educational experience and share the Georgetown experience with high school students from around the world.
Although NAIMUN is primarily an educational endeavor, philanthropy plays a large role in the conference’s mission of promoting awareness of international affairs. This year, the conference donated $14,000 to Room to Read, a nonprofit organization that promotes literacy and gender equality in education.
Director of Philanthropy Brian Cunningham (C‘15) said that “chairs were able to make fundraising a lot of fun for the delegates. It’s because of them that we can call philanthropy at NAIMUN LI a success.”