Students Reflect on ‘Amazing’ Experience Hosting ChargerMUN
Bringing middle and high school students to the University of New Haven, Charger Model United Nations was an exciting opportunity for local students to learn about how the UN operates. It also enabled Chargers to share what they’ve enjoyed and learned from being a part of the University’s award-winning Model United Nations program
November 15, 2023
By Sydney Altieri ’24 and Sean MacDonald ’24
The Univeristy of New Haven’s award-winning Model United Nations program recently hosted ChargerMUN, an immersive experience for local middle and high school students. Students from a dozen schools in the region visited the University for the conference, learning about the work and processes of the United Nations. It was also an exciting way for Chargers to share what they’ve learned while building their own leadership and organizational skills.
Below, two students reflect on their experience at ChargerMUN.
Sydney Altieri ’24
The University of New Haven’s Model United Nations program recently hosted its annual ChargerMUN conference. ChargerMUN is a one-day conference for middle and high school students across Connecticut, enabling them to have the chance to simulate the processes of the United Nations. This year, we had more than 115 middle and high school students participating from 12 schools across Connecticut and New York, making it the most successful conference since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Acting as secretary-general, I had the opportunity to oversee the creation and progression of the conference from beginning to end. Working with Deepak Dinesh ’26, our outreach director, and Sean MacDonald ’24, our research director, I oversaw the administrative and logistical side of the organization. Since May, we worked tirelessly to reach out to Model United Nations program directors, create background guides for research, and organize a keynote speaker, among other logistical responsibilities.
Getting to watch these middle and high school students interact and create realistic solutions to the problems we created for them was amazing, but what was even better was watching the students develop a love for the process. Some of the students had attended MUN Academy over the summer, a for-credit course to provide them with exposure to the function and processes of the United Nations. The bonds these students had were only strengthened, and they expressed how happy they were to see and work with each other again.
Serving as ChargerMUN 2023's secretary-general was an unforgettable experience that I wholeheartedly enjoyed. It allowed me to embrace the complexities of international affairs, deepen my understanding of diplomacy, and forge lasting connections with like-minded individuals. This journey not only enriched my personal and professional development but also reinforced my belief in the power of Model United Nations as a platform for fostering positive change in the world.
I urge other students to consider becoming involved with our MUN program here at the University of New Haven, as it provides an opportunity for growth and development that cannot be found anywhere else.
Sean MacDonald ’24
As a part of the ChargerMUN team, I had the opportunity to help plan an event that helped the University engage with the surrounding communities and build interest in the University’s award-winning Model United Nations program. This year, I had the role of research director.
Over the summer, I put together the background guides and position-paper criteria for the students. Background guides consist of vital information such as historical context of the conference topics and guidance on further research, and position papers are short documents that describe a country’s position on the topic of the conference. I also recruited volunteers from the University’s MUN to serve as the dais, which are the people who ensure the committees run smoothly and stay on task.
All of this hard work paid off on the day of conference. More than 100 students came to the University to play the role of countries from across the globe to solve important global issues. They modeled excellent diplomacy and problem-solving skills. Though most of my work occurred before conference, I was still active on the day of by assisting the other volunteers and finalizing awards for the best delegates and teams.
This was a great experience and gave me the opportunity to give back to a program that has helped me improve my own skills and work ethic. It was great to see future Chargers get a taste of what ChargerMUN has to offer them.
Sydney Altieri ’24 is a psychology major at the University of New Haven and the ChargerMUN 2023 secretary-general. Sean MacDonald ’24 is an international affairs major and research director of ChargerMUN.