Model UN Simulation for Freshmen

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Photo M. Aros

Juan Rodriguez ('18) speaks about his country's opinion on the Syrian refugee crisis for Model UN.

Michelle Aros, Staff Writer

Throughout the hallways, students are spotted wearing casual business attire. Rather than the typical talk about last night’s game, the freshmen find themselves discussing Syrian foreign policy.

For the last several weeks, Inquiry Skills classes have been participating in a Model United Nations unit. Every student was required to research, write and present information regarding a given country. They then applied this information to the ongoing conflict in Syria.

All of this preparation culminates into a simulation of a UN committee session.

Students from Joni Ghannadian’s Inquiry Skills class conducted their mock conference last week.

“They’re operating in the form of the Security Council. They’re looking at the Syrian refugee crisis and trying to see how to resolve that. It is a two day simulation,” says Ghannadian.

Claire Chen (’16) and Victoria Asgard (’16), members of the Model UN club, chaired the simulation. The chairs are tasked with directing the simulation (moderating the flow of debate) and making sure that everything runs smoothly.

“This has to do a lot with public speaking because you have to be able to get up, research and write papers,” said Chen.

“Yeah, writing papers, doing research, and knowing what you’re talking about- it’s a lot,” said Asgard.

Ghannadian finds that this method of learning can make a lasting impression on students.

“It puts them in the form of a real-life situation possibly, where they can feel that their opinion counts,” said Ghannadian.

Vivika Sheppard (’18) said, “My favorite part of the simulation is learning about other country’s points and having global awareness of the things around us in today’s world.”

A key factor in the simulation is public speaking, with which students do not have experience. Every delegate must give their country’s opinion on the topic at least once.

“[I’m not nervous], because there’s only 20 people in this classroom,” says Sheppard.

Model UN has been a part of the freshmen class for a while now. Teachers like Ghannadian hope to see more students being impacted from this little simulation, and possibly getting involved in the United Nations itself.