Ten Western students took New York City by storm, giving their all at the annual Model United Nations (MUN) conference.
The MUN is a national organization that holds different conferences throughout the year. MUN gives students the opportunity to learn more about international politics, policies and the United Nations (UN).
The largest conference held is in New York City at the UN headquarters. Each school has a delegation of students that researches a country given to them. The students then get to work with other delegations, gathering feedback and revising their papers together.
“We got to learn the ins and outs of what the UN does and what the Holy See’s abilities are in the UN,” said Hannah White, a junior who attended MUN this year. “The Holy See is the country we were given to research this year.”
The Holy See is the universal government of the Catholic Church and is primarily in Vatican City. The Pope is head of the Holy See as well as Vatican City.
“Going to the actual conference, you are going all day,” White said. “On Tuesday, we were there from 8 a.m. to 10 in the evening. It was so intense, but a lot of fun.”
Those position papers are on different, real-life issues that a country might have. In the position papers, they mention what the UN has done for their specific topic, what their country has done, and the last section proposes new ideas. They work on the papers for five months before the conference. When they get to MUN, each delegation works together based on their position papers.
From Western, a team of 10 students was able to showcase their skills in the big city. The team won two awards: outstanding position paper and overall distinguished delegation.
“I did Model UN in high school, so that is how I got involved in Politics & Government,” said Christine Spiers, a freshman who attended MUN. “Preparing at Western was a lot more intense. The position papers took a long time to write. I never did that in high school.”
“We started preparing in the fall,” White said. “We would have weekly meetings and then when the springtime rolled around we had class time for three hours every week.”
There is a lot of work that goes into preparing to leave for the conference. Along with writing a position paper, there is also a lot of fundraising that the team does. The conference is very expensive, so the team raises as much money as they can to pay the conference fees. Because of how pricy it is to attend, the opportunity to attend MUN is only every other year.
“It was a really cool experience,” Spiers said. “It was cool to meet everyone from all over the world. It gave you a different perspective on culture through another culture’s lens.”
Story by Western junior Taya Olson.