Inquiry Club — A Trip to Tufts University
On Thursday, April 5, members of Packer’s Inquiry Club woke up at the crack of dawn to catch the 8:30 train to Boston.
From Thursday to Saturday, students from ___ other schools — a few from Boston, two from New York, and one from Virginia — represented countries that were involved in “the nuclear imperative,” the topic of this year’s trip. Similar to Model UN, Inquiry Club is designed to simulate real-world issues and put these issues up forto debate. It tests students’ knowledge regarding their country’s stance on the subject as well as their thoughts on how to negotiate and reach conclusions with other countries.
On Thursday night, students from all schools attended a lecture at Tufts University delivered by Anthony Clark Arend, a professor of Government and Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Following this lecture, students dispersed and were able to further consider his lecture.
The following day was somewhat similar; for the first part of the day, students were able to explore all of Boston and took advantage of that opportunity. Similarly to Thursday, students were expected to arrive at Tufts University by five pm and left at around 9:30 pm. Unlike Thursday, after the lecture delivered by Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins took place, the simulation finally began. The basis of the simulation was this:
Students from each school were assigned to different delegations, meaning different countries. One Packer group was assigned to Russia, whose role in the debated nuclear crisis was crucial. The other was assigned to Israel. Before breaking up into committees, all countries were meant to have one representative give a brief opening speech about their country and what they hoped to achieve.
Evan Myers (‘20) was assigned last minute to perform this speech on behalf of Russia; essentially, he was put on the spot and, instead of beginning neutrally, he broke off into discussing how Russia was much better than all of the other countries. The speech got quite a lot of backlash.
After this, each delegation went to one room to decide what they wanted to achieve. Upon entering the room, a student mentor from Tufts immediately stated, “you were not supposed to begin the simulation like that, as more countries will be more intrigued to work against you.” With that, Packer’s delegation went into committee meetings (where one or two Packer students were assigned to a specific topic regarding the nuclear crisis, such as terrorism or environmental effects) and tried to bargain with other countries to decide on a consensus as to how to handle the nuclear crisis.
On Saturday, Packer’s inquiry club spent the whole day at Tufts University, from 7 am to 7:45 pm. This day was an extension of the day before; committees and delegations met to discuss goals and come up with resolutions. By the end of the day, each committee had written a treaty to settle disagreements. All delegations attended the final meeting, where one representative (the same as the first) discussed their delegation’s accomplishments.
It was a successful trip overall; Packer students had the opportunity to participate in in-depth discussions with other schools about current world crises as well as explore Boston.