Stratford Model U.N. students enjoy trip to Washington D.C.


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Sahan Vangala, Shawn Shivdat and Tripp Vaughn take notes on their mobile devices while listening to a speaker at the Georgetown Model U.N. (Photo by TEJAS ATHNI, Gazebo Correspondent)

By TEJAS ATHNI, Gazebo Correspondent

Disarmament and International Security Council. Social and Humanitarian Council. Papal Conclave. United States Senate. European Parliament. World Health Organization. British House of Commons.

What do all of these random international organizations have in common?

They all are names of various councils, organizations, and international bodies the Model United Nations team from Stratford represented on their recent five-day trip to Washington, D.C.  It was the first time the Stratford Model U.N. team had participated in a national tournament.

Mr. Mike Kelley, the history department chair and the Model U.N. team sponsor, took 10 students to the 53rd National American Invitational Model United Nations Conference, which was held at the Washington Hilton, near the campus of Georgetown University.

More than 200 schools and 3,000 students attended the conference. The Stratford students were sophomores Tripp Vaughn, Greg Sutton, Shawn Shivdat, Carson Greene, Tejas Athni, Preston Kennedy, Sahan Vangala, Akshay Ranabhotu, and Ellie Wangerin and freshman Rushabh Patel.

The students represented their respective committees as countries, such as Angola, the Netherlands, and Vanuatu, as well as specific historical people, such as Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez, Greg Mulholland from the British House of Commons, Jesse Helms from the U.S. Senate, and Olaf Stugar from the European Parliament.

After researching their specific country or person, the students had to write a “position paper” on their country or person’s stance on certain issues. At the conference, the team had to debate regarding their stance on the specific issue at hand in their respective committees and had to pass resolutions and international agreements.

Not only did the Stratford Model U.N. team fully experience the Georgetown conference, they also explored the nation’s capital.  The students visited museums such as the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, the Native American Museum, the International Spy Museum, the Smithsonian American History Museum, and the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.

They also saw historic landmarks and colleges, such as the Washington Monument and the sprawling campus of Georgetown University.

The team also had fun throwing snowballs at each other, something young people from Georgia don’t often get to see.

From L-R: Sophomores Akshay Ranabhotu, Carson Greene, Shawn Shivdat, Sahan Vangala, Preston Kennedy, Tejas Athni, Greg Sutton, and Freshman Rushabh Patel pose for a picture in the snow in Washington, D.C.