After weeks of preparation, the Ottawa Hills Model United Nations club travelled to the Canadian-American Security Council (CASC) conference. This conference, which took place in Lansing, Michigan from November 30th to December 2nd, gave new club members the opportunity to see how Model United Nations operates and veteran members a chance to refine their Model UN skills.

Connor Pellegrini, club co-president, states that the embodiment of the conference is that: “CASC provides a welcoming environment to develop public speaking skills and leaves just enough time to make a few friends.”

Preparation meetings began in October, where students received their country and committee assignments. Students were assigned to be in one of five committees: Security Council, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), European Union, ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council), and the League of Arab States. Students then began to research their country, and wrote position papers for their respective topics of debate.

Throughout these meetings, advisor Thomas McCarthy had senior mentors Zoe Behnfeldt, Abigail Berk, Maya Chandar-Kouba, Josephine Harders, and Connor Pellegrini provide student insight into how to follow procedure, how formal and informal debate operated, and the proper way to write a resolution.

Upon arriving at the conference, club members found that they were well-prepared to be delegates. After two days of debating social, economic, and technological issues that face our world, many club members had learned procedure and were able to write, co-write, and pass resolutions.

At the end of the conference, senior Abigail Berk won Highest Honors for her work as France in the European Union and junior Charlotte Mayer-Heckathorn won Second Honors for her work as Mauritania in the Arab League.

Abigail Berk, club co-president, reflects, “This was my second year at the conference, and this time I chose to do a bigger committee. This meant that it took more effort to make my point during caucus and speeches, but it was so exciting to see a larger group of people focusing on one goal. I think as a whole the club did very well and had a lot of fun.”

For all participants, CASC was a very important conference that contributed to their global understanding. By going through this learning process, Ottawa Hills MUN members were exposed to new ideas and topics that broadened their understanding of current events.