Club Corner: Model United Nations

Many students struggle to find Jordan on the map, but the students of the Model UN club not only know where the country is, they know its position on human rights and peace issues, too.

“One of the best decisions I have made was joining [Model UN],” sophomore Katherine Little said. “It really opened me up to a whole new world.”

Model UN is a group of over 30 students who act as diplomats of certain assigned countries and work to resolve issues at Model UN conferences.

“[Model UN] gives us a real-deal experience on what it’s like to write resolutions with countries in different situations than our own,” freshman Lauren Peterson said. “With every conference you meet new friends and [immerse] yourself in a new culture of the country you’re representing.”

There are many Model UN conferences around the world. The Model UN at school competes in four annually. Its next will be held at UC Davis on May 17-18.

At the conferences, students come representing their assigned country and hold a simulation of a United Nations session. They use their knowledge of contemporary issues to resolve problems in the best interest of their assigned countr

According to adviser Mike Messner, Model UN has been a club at the school since he was in high school. Messner has enlisted Seth Donnelly to be another adviser for the club.

According to Donnelly, the club is beneficial to students because it “gets them thinking on an international level.”

Messner agrees but cites other key benefits.

“It’s not about trying to be the best and beating everybody,” Messner said. “… It’s [about] diplomacy and negotiation.”

The club meetings are held Wednesdays at lunch in room 311. Each of the meetings provide the students with time to discuss with their committees, plan for conferences and share current events.

Model UN students can win awards based on the research they put into their position paper and their work in their respective committees. At their pat conferences held at UC Berkeley, sophomore Cal Partain and senior Alex Treiger won honorable mention awards for their work.

While anyone is welcome to join the club at anytime during the school year, Messner said that is good to join toward the beginning of the year to learn about how Model UN is run, though most of the information is learned by attending the actual conferences.

Co-presidents Alex and senior Paul Winterbotham are both graduating and passing the torch on to Cat and sophomore Nicole Schreiber.

“Anyone who wants to have a good time while learning a lot should join [Model UN],” Katherine said. “If I had to rate how cool this club was on a scale from 1 to 10, I would say it is about a 12.”