New addition to MocMUN equips club for success


María Mikhaeil

From left to right: Isabella LeBlanc, Joseph Jourdain, Alex Jourdain, Keith Higgins

Ella Rain Hogan, Staff Reporter

Three years ago the Regional added the MocMUN club to its extracurricular offerings. This club, alternating between discussing global issues in the fall and spring and arguing a court case in the winter, focuses on improving students’ diplomacy, global politics, and critical thinking abilities.  

Model UN and Mock trial allow students to hone valuable skills; Model UN is research based, addresses contemporary issues, and promotes collaboration, while Mock Trial includes critical, analysis-based thinking. 

Social Studies teacher Joseph Jourdain, who has been advising Model UN for 22 years, and MocMUN for three, said that the clubs offer invaluable lessons concerning work ethic. 

“They nurture a sense of responsibility and are self-motivated, because they require students to prepare outside of school. Both clubs are a lot of work, but incredibly rewarding,” said Jourdain.

But this will be the first year that MocMUN club members will have a dedicated attorney to help guide them.

Keith Higgins, a lawyer for 26 years, stepped in to advise when he heard the club may not run. 

“It [MocMUN] teaches students public speaking and presentation, and gives them a civics background, helping them to understand a larger scope of the world, and understand international law and the American legal system,” said Higgins, who has worked on both domestic and international trials connected to a variety of crimes, such as murder and high-ranking prisoner abuse.

Club members said they look forward to what Higgins can bring to the table. 

From left to right: Joseph Jourdain, Gabriela Hamburger-Medailleu, Ella Hogan, Jack Higgens (Juliana Allicon)

“Mr. Higgins is a terrific lawyer and person, and having him guide us through judicial procedures and bring in real advice is an amazing resource for the members of the club,” said sophomore Gabriela Hamburger Medailleu. “He’s able to offer insight that we would otherwise never have and allow us to really begin to understand what it means to be in court and participating in a case.”

Sophomore and first year member, Avery Heppenstall, said she sees another advantage to Higgins’ involvement.

“I think that having that opportunity to work with mentors is an important skill to have as many of us will have to eventually navigate being mentored in our future careers,” said Heppenstall.

Higgins, who has prior experience in mock trials at higher levels, said he intends to focus on providing advice in the public speaking and presentation aspects of the clubs. 

“I hope to be able to help students in getting better insight into strategies and techniques to use in trials,” said Higgins.

Senior Isabella LeBlanc, who has participated in the club since her freshman year, believes that Higgins’ contribution to the club may be able to elevate Wachusett’s level of competition. 

“Wachusett already performs well without an attorney to help, but the schools that do really well always have lawyers helping out, so this year Wachusett aims to do even better than usual,” said LeBlanc.

Jourdain agreed. 

“When teams have a committed attorney it makes all the difference,” said Jourdain. “The involvement of a lawyer has the potential to bring our program from solid, to excellent.”