Model UN

Lily Drage

You may have seen groups like Battle’s Model UN in many movies and shows. Similar to the actual United Nations, Model UN enlightens group members about popular political issues and the contributions to them from foreign nations.

 “I guess when you learn that we simulate the real United Nations and discuss international issues, you’d think the UN could force countries to do what they want, but in reality, the UN can only suggest or encourage a country to take whatever action to solve an issue.” Grace Ukoha, a senior, said of common misconceptions about the group. She joined Model UN during her sophomore year and has been apart of the group for three years. Ukoha says that since she joined the interactive group her social skills have stimulated. “I met more people in casual setting and it really helped me relax after school because the other members were easy to interact with.” She said that some people are reluctant to join groups like Model UN or Speech & Debate because they may hold an unpopular opinion. Another thing that draws away attendees is the idea that the discussion of politics is impolite. Ukoha found that the aspect of Model UN she most struggles with is the research, “You have to research your topic before you can talk to others about it.”

 “Model UN helps students with skills they will need for college: reading, research, writing, argumentation, and public speaking. It helps students learn about the world we live in and it gives an inside look into how decisions are made at the global level. It’s a great club for anyone who is interested in global politics or current events.” Model UN leader, Mr. Corrigan said regarding the potential benefits of joining Model UN. The Social Studies teacher was vocal on the concern with things like research saying, “Research is a big part of Model UN. But what makes it different than most cases is that you get an element of choice in what you are researching. Every year, we are presented with about 10 different topics to prepare for, and students generally get to choose the two that most interest them. Oftentimes, students are doing research without realizing they are doing it. Watching the news or reading an article about a current world event is research that helps them prepare for Model UN.”

 With that, the concern of being the carrier of an unpopular opinion is rarely even discussed in Model UN because as part of the group students are given the role of a certain country and will only follow the views of the assigned nation. “One of the goals of Model UN is to encourage people to discuss politics in a more cooperative manner. Its negotiation and discussion, not debate,” Corrigan explained.

  The group is very open to new members and lately is encouraging those interested in foreign policy to join. Mr.Corrigan added,“It’s a lot of fun! Battle’s team was just awarded an outstanding delegation award at our last conference, so we are looking for motivated students to replace our outstanding seniors!”