By Ellie Muraca
March 12, 2015
As January comes to a close and February begins, most MHS students anticipate the annual Love Fest events. But for 26 students, the long awaited Johns Hopkins Model UN Conference in Baltimore, Maryland was finally here.
Model UN, founded in 1945 by a group of students, is an opportunity for young people to experience a simulation of what it is like to be in the United Nations. Not only does this provide an outlet for politically-oriented students, it also sharpens collaborative skills by challenging participants to work together in a diverse group to solve a controversial issue.
The MHS Model UN club, run by Kia Wassenaar and Teddy Leeds Armstrong, assigns each member a country to represent in a conference. When assigned a country, each delegate is then assigned to a committee. Each committee has a specific issue that delegates must debate based on common involvement in the topic.
No matter what kind of committee you are assigned to, you are guaranteed to be kept on your toes. Committees range from general to specialized. Specialized committees may involve “crisis committees” in which delegates are woken up in the middle of the night (yes, they quite literally come to your hotel room and knock on your door) and delegates must report to committee to solve issues throughout the early morning hours. Delegates may assassinate or kidnap other delegates, start wars in other countries, and much more in crisis committees. These committees are typically smaller in size, averaging at around 15 delegates per room. Novice Model UN members are typically placed in generalized committees that can host; during large conferences such as JHUMUNC, over 100 delegates in one room to discuss an issue.
During this recent conference to JHUMUNC (Johns Hopkins Model UN Conference), MHS was represented by a group of 26 students, including members of all grade levels and experience with Model UN.
Junior Alexandra Blaine recounted her experience with her first year at JHUMUNC with enthusiasm.
“You aim at resolving a problem and it’s a really collaborative effort,” Blaine said. “When we were able to get all of our resolution papers to make them more compatible, it made all of the struggle worth it.”
The next Model UN conference will be at Saint Anne’s Belfield in the beginning of April. The delegate fee is $20, providing lunch during the two day conference. For more information, contact Mr. Baran or Kia Wassenaar.