Model UN: 2011-2012 Overview

Michael Gross Staff Writer This past weekend the Model UN traveled to Northwestern to compete with other schools from around the country. The trip to Evanston would cap off another terrific year of the domination by the Latin School, a year including trips to the University of Chicago, University of Michigan, and Boston. The year started with LSOCMUN, Latin School of Chicago Model United Nations. For the freshmen, and the other beginners of the club, nervousness and anxiety came with the handing out of the countries. While many of my friends were assigned countries like America, Russia, and China, I was stuck with Palau, a country that is smaller than the state of New Jersey, a country that I bet some of you have never even hear of. The nervousness increased as I pondered what I could possibly write about with a country like Palau, the topic being famine in Somalia. After finally coming up with ideas, and somehow managing to produce a position paper, the awaited day arrived. We quickly started on the topic of famine in Somalia, and what to do about it, as I avoided saying anything during the first hour or so of the conference. Finally, I raised my placard to speak, but unfortunately, my table was in the corner of the room, meaning I would have to turn around in order to speak to the rest of the countries. However, turning around didn’t register in my head, as I spoke my first words of Model UN directly towards a wall. I eventually got the hang of it, and was able to make a few more comments, facing the people, as LSOCMUN ended, successful serving as a practice for the conferences ahead. The University of Chicago was the next conference. It was my first conference; I was nervous, but excited at the same time. I was in the DISEC committee and we chose to discuss the problems of the production of Nuclear Weapons. Going up there for the first time, my heart was beating, as I made it up to the microphone standing in front of over 200 people. Nervous that I would stumble on my words, I made it through my first speech as I persuaded the committee to discuss about Nuclear Weapons. The trip was a great way to prepare me for future public speaking, and was also able to bond with sophomores and freshmen from my school that I hadn’t been a friend with before. I was also able bond with my fellow delegates from all over the country not only in the committee sessions but during the Delegate Dance as well. Overall, it was a great trip and amazing experience. Trips to the University of Michigan and Boston were reserved for the best delegates, as the completion was harder, with a greater amount of people there. Latin, though, was still successful bringing back many Honorable Mention and Best Delegate Awards. The final trip to Northwestern brought many students to their first Model UN conference. Freshmen Chris Quazzo said “it was slightly overwhelming at first” but like many other students he was excited to begin his Model UN career. Arriving on Friday afternoon, after a long week at school, the students immediately changed into their “western business attire” as they were ready for their first conference. Each delegate at the conference put in about 14 hours of committee sessions during the weekend, not all reasonable hours as a crisis in Chris’s committee “entailed being woken up at 1:30 in the morning.” Sophomore Hedy Gutfreund won an honorable mention certificate coming “as no surprise to the group” said Chris. Overall, a successful trip and an enjoyable weekend Model UN, a great club that encourages intellectual thinking, getting students involved with the problems of the world, and teaching them how to go about solving problems and creating resolutions. It teaches kids to be confident with their ideas and with their public speaking abilities, allowing them to be successful later in life. The bonding experience, not only with kids from your school, but also with students all over the country, as you create close friendships with your fellow delegates. I hope you join next year!    ]]>