Seventeen members of the St. Joseph’s Academy Youth & Government Club participated in the YMCA’s Model United Nations (MUN) program, held December 8-10 at the Holiday Inn South.
Model United Nations provides participants with an opportunity to gain insight into global relations through a challenging and constructive three-day program. The focus of the conference is to provide participants with the experience of representing a country’s viewpoint on global issues and engaging in resolutions through compromise and cooperation. Participants select a country to represent and are assigned to one of the following councils: General Assembly, Economic & Social Council, Security Council, International Court of Justices or Press. Students also gain exposure to parliamentary procedure and debate as well as resolution writing.
Representing eight countries from Vietnam to Yemen, participating students wrote and debated resolutions related to current world issues including clean water and illegal arms sales.
Junior Lara Nicholson said she wanted to participate in the program to meet people who care about the issues of meaning to her. “I learned a lot about the political process,” she said. “I learned how debate works, and I learned a multitude of test-taking strategies and public-speaking skills. I believe that after MUN, I now know a lot more about debating and how to persuade others, which I will be able to use when writing persuasive essays and, more importantly, in everyday speech. Though I am glad to have learned this skill, I am definitely most thankful for the friends I got to make at MUN.”
Freshman Emma Perrault represented Vietnam and debated the country’s resolutions to freedom of speech, water and illegal arms trafficking issues. “It was really interesting to take the positions of topics that I personally wouldn’t agree with but my country would,” she said. “I really enjoy debating, discussing and learning about the world around me. It was really fun to talk to people about my opinions and hear their opinions, as well. I learned so much about what is going on outside of the United States. It was so interesting to have the opportunity to really look outside of the bubble we live in and have the opportunity to consider everything happening in the world. I am very glad to have this experience, and I plan to participate in Model UN next year.”
Sophomore Anna LeJeune said she attended to learn more about world cultures and types of governments. “At the conference, we were split into councils and given three major world issues: freedom of the press, water scarcity and illegal weapons trade,” she said. “In these councils, we collaborated with other countries to develop resolutions, then debated and voted on them. I had a great time and made many new friends from across the state. Definitely looking forward to next year.”
Mindy Brodhead Averitt
Photos courtesy of Lara Nicholson and Patrick O'Hara
Date posted: December 12, 2016