After a year of no inter-provincial travel due to the pandemic and getting creative and adapting to participating in a virtual setting in 2020, the Shawnigan Model United Nations (MUN) team was able to put that behind them and fly to Montreal to escape the ‘wet’ coast albeit for a few days to participate at this year’s conference in person. Held each November, the Secondary Schools United Nations Summit (SSUNS) is an opportunity for students from across the country to participate in an educational simulation that provides students with firsthand experience in diplomacy and international relations through teamwork, critical thinking, research, public speaking, and debating all while garnering an intimate understanding of the United Nations. The end goal? For students to come home with the confidence in their ‘ability to effect change in the areas they are inspired to do so.’
This year’s group consisted of 12 students and their fearless leaders Mr. Paul Klassen and first-timer Mx. Elizabeth Rush. After all the hard work put into preparing their topics and positions prior to departure, the excitement could not be ignored when the city lights came into view from the windows of the aircraft, Montreal, and its famous bagels was right below them! They had arrived and were ready to jump right into the four-day conference with an evening that included their first committee session and the opening ceremony.
For Mr. Klassen, who has been running the program at the School for over a decade, he has always had such pride watching the students as they progress from their first time standing up and public speaking to later confidently taking the stage at the conference with their position papers in hand, pushing for their stance on the world stage, no matter who they are representing.
Each year while in Montreal, the students take the opportunity to visit the Fine Art Museum, as well as network with Shawnigan Alumni and enjoy a tour of the McGill University campus. This year they were hosted at McGill by Cassia Nasralla ’17 (Renfrew) and then during the alumni ‘Happy Hour’ they had the opportunity to meet with Rizwan Moorji ’97 (Lonsdale’s) who shared his experience participating in the Model UN conference in New York in his Grade 12 year, just showing how strong the MUN program at Shawnigan has become. After a busy four days, the Shawnigan MUN team returned to campus with a valuable experience under their belts ready to carry on the work of taking what inspires them and using their knowledge and experience to go out into the world and move mountains.
Shawnigan Lake School is adhering to all COVID-19 guidelines released by the BC Ministries of Health and Education.
We acknowledge with respect the Coast Salish Peoples on whose traditional lands and waterways we live, learn and play. We are grateful for the opportunity to share in this beautiful region, and we aspire to healthy and respectful relationships with those who have lived on and cared for these lands for millennia.
Shawnigan Lake School is an independent co-educational boarding school for ages 13 –18 on Canada’s beautiful West Coast. Our diverse, interdisciplinary and innovative programming helps shape the next generation of global leaders.