Model U.N. Recap

Jack Cropper, staff writer

Peace, dignity, and equality on a healthy planet. A key phrase, known and uttered by almost every United Nations officer and diplomat. These are the pillars of this global organization of cooperation, and they are the pillars of the Model United Nations. Model United Nations, or MUN, is an extracurricular club aimed at promoting these values, teaching students the value of diplomacy, and overall having an important learning experience. 

MUN is an annual event, with students from all across the state gathering to discuss world issues and put forth resolutions that will rectify certain problems. The gathering is usually in person, with multiple committees and rooms dedicated to the discussion of these problems, ultimately simulating the United Nations. However, as with everything, the coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the planning, experience, and safety of participants. With this, the last two years have been virtual MUN, where students gather on a zoom to do what they would normally do in person, together.

This unfortunate effect of the pandemic has left more to be desired by some students. In the year 2021, the event was not moved to virtual until December 21st, about two and a half weeks before the club was slated to meet. Although expected by many, this still hit students hard who were hoping to seeing their peers and enjoying an activity they had been looking forward to the whole year. 

 “I would like it to be a little more engaging” said Mrs. Berrios, one of the head advisors for the NPHS club and its students. “I was so disappointed because this is one of the fun trips that all the students look forward to.”

Despite the disappointment, the event went on as planned. On January 7, from 6-6:30pm, the opening ceremony began. From there, a scheduled committee meeting took place from 6:30 to 8:00 before the evening concluded. This, however, was merely an introduction to what would be a jam-packed schedule, enough to fill 10 hours in a day, all from home. Meetings to social activities were stretching the bandwidth of every household, before the day finally finished at 8:00pm. To cap off this weekend, four and a half hours were allotted to two committee sessions and a closing ceremony combined. 

“But, I think in terms of debate, it doesn’t really affect the process that much,”  said Kevin Chan, a MUN participant. “For me at least, doing virtual is a bit easier.”

Virtual conference had its moments and benefits, and has clearly helped relieve some of the stress associated with the event. Kevin Chan, who Mrs. Berrios noted as an exceptional participant, may just serve as an example of what the virtual club assembly can achieve.  

The Model United Nations conference was considered a success by many, with participants being fulfilled and happy with their experience, and some left disappointed. With the next conference a far ways off,  some students will still have to wait for their first in person conference, as they go into their second or even third year of high school.