Model UN Poised to Convene for Spring 2024 Upper School Security Council

Each Thursday night, close to 50 Upper School students in the Model UN Club gather in Becker Library to prepare for their highly anticipated Security Council meeting coming up in the Chapel on Wednesday, March 20, 2024. The goal of the full-day student-run meeting is to emulate the assurance of international peace and security–the purpose and primary responsibility of the United Nations Security Council.

“The main idea is the world is a crazy place, and it requires collective action and multilateral international agreements to solve those problems,” said International Program Assistant and faculty sponsor Henry Colangelo ’18.

The twice-a-year meetings happen once during the fall semester and once in the spring. Last semester, nearly 60 Upper School students tackled topics such as offshore drilling in the Arctic, drug trafficking and cryptocurrency. 

The St. Stephen’s Model UN is set up much like the real one. Students represent different countries as assigned. They conduct research from the perspective of their country to gain a better understanding of the issues and its effect on the country’s residents. Students use that knowledge, information and parliamentary procedures to write and present resolutions that could lead to meaningful change. Not only are students exercising media literacy skills by sifting through international and foreign news sources and vetting and understanding different perspectives, but Colangelo says students are also honing their public speaking and debating skills.

“It’s a very impressive thing,” said Colangelo. “They’re demonstrating knowledge that seems way beyond what you'd expect from these kids.”

The Model UN club involves two student leadership positions of honor, secretary general and parliamentarian, who preside over and run the meeting. Zach Geller ’24 served as secretary general in the fall, and Leela Weisser ’25 served as parliamentarian. This spring, Felix Eugene ’25 is serving as secretary general and the parliamentarian is Rebecca Cole ’25.

"Our club security council sessions, weekly meetings and out of school conferences have made me a comfortable public speaker and presenter, as well as given me invaluable social diplomacy and networking skills," said Felix, who has been a part of Model UN since his freshman year. "To actually run our meetings, however, requires an acute interest in history, current events and the relevant happenings within the actual U.N. – as well as constantly reading and thinking about world and national politics."

This year’s faculty sponsors include International Office Program Director Sarah Todd, International Office Assistant Mason Cox, Upper School History Instructor Anna Armentrout and International Program Assistant Henry Colangelo ’18. 
St. Stephen’s students, faculty and staff are invited to stop by and watch the Model UN Security Council meeting throughout the day on Wednesday, March 20, 2024 in the Chapel. The meeting will run from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m., and then break for lunch. The Security Council will resume from 1:20 p.m. until the end of the school day.
Address: 6500 St. Stephen's Dr., Austin, TX 78746
Phone: (512) 327-1213