Western’s Model UN Chapter
Students in Western Colorado University’s Chapter of National Model United Nations (NMUN) returned to the Gunnison Valley from the NMUN conference on April 6th with new friends, new perspectives, and new experiences. As they reflected on their time, the group of 12 students spoke about their opportunity to travel to the conference in New York and learn about the world together.
“I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into when I joined the class, but I can say I’m so happy I did,” said Kaikea Cavaliero, a senior Political Science major. “Not only because of the educational aspect of it, but the friendship aspect and the experience of growing with these people and going to a place we’ve never been before as a group.”
The Work Before the Trip
As delegates to NMUN, students from all across the globe spend months before the conference discussing issues and preparing arguments from the perspective of other countries. For example, one group in Western’s chapter prepared a position on harm caused by weapons of mass destruction from the perspective of The Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.
Researching issues from the perspective of someone from across the world allows the students to expand their viewpoints. Since 57 percent of the delegates at the conference were international students, Western’s chapter had the opportunity to learn about different cultures and lifestyles. Some of the international students were even from the countries the Western delegates were representing.
“Seeing the interaction between students from the actual countries and the students representing their countries was super neat. We got to learn what their country was actually like and whether or not they thought they were being properly represented,” said second-year student Kyle Watkins.
What it’s all About
Though the students were excited to explore the world beyond the Gunnison Valley, they were reminded that these types of experiences are what Western is all about.
“I realized that Model UN is far more than just a conference,” Aiden McComas, a second-year Political Science major, said. “It’s a venue for networking, for meeting people, for collaborating, and for exploring the world outside of the Gunnison Valley. There’s so much more to experience at Western besides skiing and rock climbing,”
After returning from the trip, Gesena Mitchhart, a junior double majoring in Environment & Sustainability and Political Science, said, “I think a big thing about Western’s culture is getting out of your comfort zone and living life. Being exposed to so many different people and going somewhere like New York, especially coming from Gunnison, forces you out of your comfort zone. I think that’s what Western’s all about.”
Author Credit: Kinlee Whitney
Photo Credit: Courtesy