A packed room, full of one hundred students in formal dress, each from a different high school, gather to discuss topics from nuclear weapons to human rights. The meeting: a Model UN conference.
Just this year, Model UN was added to the list of organizations offered at school. Every Tuesday, members meet to prepare for the annual conference, which will take place in San Antonio during the first week of January. This two-day conference is a big deal. Students from bordering states and Mexico will travel to participate in the mock United Nations assembly.
To fully imitate the international meeting, each participating school has delegations, groups that are assigned a country. Each group member is assigned to a committee. Part of the preparation process is researching their country’s position on the committee topic.
“When you’re on one of the committees you have to argue your country’s position on that topic,” Logan Michael (10) said. “I'm on the human rights committee, so topics include persecution and forced labor.”
Unfortunately, delegates from Clemens did not get assigned their first choice countries, Australia and Belgium, so they had to settle with less-known countries, Nepal and Portugal. Even though members claim Nepal and Portugal are less exciting and easier to research, the assignment allows them to gather a new perspective—the point of view of a small country.
“When you think about the UN you don't think about those kinds of countries. You think about the big ones—America, England, China,” Michael said. “But other countries have their own position, their own opinion on what’s going on, so it’s cool to look at that.”
Unlike other clubs, Model UN is different. Instead of competing at their conference, delegates work to form solutions with delegates of other countries.
“You don't really win or lose. The goal is for everybody in the room to come to a conclusion, to fix the problem that's been given. You can get awards for if you contribute,” Bryan said.
The assembly serves as a place for members to get out of their comfort zone and represent their country in heated debates.
Michael said, "Honestly I don't like talking in front of people so I guess I don't know why I joined. But it's something different. It’s fun."
Most Model UN members don’t see themselves becoming diplomats or world leaders; they simply want to take part in an important geopolitical discussion.
“We directly talk about issues like climate change and immigration. We are talking about current issues in today’s world,” Bryan said. “We try to solve them because people today don’t seem to be solving them that well.”
~Ally Lozano- Copy Editor
A Letter From the Editor
Happy holidays from the SC Correspondent Online! As we reflect back on 2019, the stories that echo through these halls make me appreciative of the students who make this publication worthwhile. While for many of us, Christmas Break marks the beginning of our last semester of high school, there's still so many memories left to archive. Thank you for appreciating the stories we cultivate as young journalists!
~Taylor Trapp- Online Editor-in-Chief