Does coming up with ways to eliminate poverty and disease, stop environmental destruction and keep peace throughout the world sound like a daunting task? The students of Carmel High’s Model United Nations team spend their weekends doing just that.
While the United Nations was created in 1945, in order to bring all nations together to work towards a common goal, Model U.N. began in the 1950s to enable students to participate in a similar atmosphere to the U.N. and work towards resolutions for current issues.
Junior Daniel Orlov, the current president of Model U.N. at CHS, believes the intent of the club “is to spread awareness of what’s going on around the world and essentially to get CHS involved in international relations.”
Conferences can be intimidating, especially when students participate in groups like the Security Council, which, according to Orlov, can be heated and intense at times. However, the objective in each committee is to come together and form a resolution for each issue, whatever it may be.
After a lull in interest in the CHS club, Model U.N. was restarted three years ago. Despite only 26 active members, the club has been successful at conferences in previous years, often placing in individual awards for research and speaking, as well as winning the delegate award.
However, awards are not the only thing with which students walk away. The club encourages the practice of public speaking and other useful skills.
“Outside of learning about other nations, the point [of Model U.N.] is to improve not only your research and writing skills, but to improve your ability to speak in front of others and interact with other people,” senior Chase Melich comments.
Michele Pollock, third-year Model U.N. advisor and math teacher, reflects, “My favorite aspect is attending the conferences and watching the students become alive and so excited with it, then seeing them have a light bulb moment.”
Suzanne Marden, second-year Model U.N. advisor and French teacher, has similar sentiments and says she sees the club as an opportunity to connect with students that she would not ordinarily teach. Students, too, are able to come together despite different grades and social groups because of a common interest, and Marden notes that one of her favorite aspects is the time spent together outside of conferences, whether it is dinner or the drive to and from competitions.
The team is currently preparing for its first conference of the year in the Santa Clara Valley, taking place over the weekend of January 31,where the CHS club will represent the United Kingdom and Austria,. Team members will also most likely be representing Ireland, Papua New Guinea, Qatar and Somalia from March 7-9 at U.C. Berkeley.