Model United Nations, a club to bring together students with an interest in social studies and the world around them, has a conference Saturday Oct. 20 in Boulder.
Kelsey Newman, junior, said, “Model UN is a club that stimulates being a member of the United Nations. You practice negotiation and interaction skills.” Before the conference, the students are assigned a country to represent and must formulate an opinion on one or two current events.
They write a position paper, do research, and combine this with their opinion to advocate for their country’s needs. Anna Smith, sophomore, said, “People who like social studies come together, pretend to be countries, and solve world problems like climate change.”
In order to prepare, participants in Model UN can come to optional work days after school. There, it can be useful to talk through the conflicts with the rest of the group and ask questions to other students and the two advisors, Emily Muellenberg and Alyson Kleinman. “Most students take a few hours to research the topic and write up the position paper which is about 2 paragraphs,” said Kleinman.
There is a wide range of schools at these conferences, and they are often statewide. At the conferences, there are an unmoderated and moderated caucus, which translates to talking in groups to write solutions and giving a speech by yourself, respectively.
“The end goal of a conference is to create a resolution that is passed by the council. There are not necessarily winners and losers, but the top 3 delegates get recognized at the closing ceremonies,” said Newman. There is a procedure that must be followed during the conference, and because of this, it relates closely to the actual UN. “It’s got it’s own rules, but I think it teaches you a lot about how people solve problems in the real world,” said Smith.
Newman became involved in Model UN freshman year to support her friend and founder of the club, Noelle Harff. “I think this can have a big impact, because it really gets students educated about what’s going on around them in the world,” said Newman. “It makes them more aware of the impact events have on countries other than the US.”
Not only does the club itself have an impact on HR Model UN students, but interacting and negotiating at conferences does as well. Smith said, “It shows how many people are concerned with making the world a better place.”
Delaney Atchison, Staff Reporter