CHS Model U.N. debates at Berkeley conference

The Carmel High Model United Nations team learned the meaning and importance of resolution last weekend, while representing Austria at the 64th annual session of the Berkeley Model U.N. conference, the oldest Model U.N. conference in the world.

According to the team’s co-supervisor, CHS teacher Michele Pollock, Model U.N. is an exact representation of the United Nations. Each team is assigned a country that they will represent in the conference, and delegates (the students) must address issues present in the world today using the perspective of that specific country.

“Model U.N. draws in students who have a global perspective, and they see themselves as a world citizen,” Pollock comments.

Co-supervisor Suzanne Marden also adds that Model U.N. differs from other academic clubs, as students cannot rehearse and memorize a certain script. During a conference things change so delegates need to know Austria’s view very well.

CHS Model UN team after a successful weekend at the Berkeley Conference. Photo by Delaney King.

CHS Model UN team after a successful weekend at the Berkeley Conference. Photo by Delaney King.

“I really enjoy spending time with students in the capacity out of the classroom,” Marden adds. “It makes me proud to hear young people talk earnestly about very difficult world problems to which there are no unanimous solutions”

According to Pollock, pre-existing conflicts prevent the team from competing in other conferences; however, due to timing, the Berkeley Conference is the competition for which students prepare during the year. The conference is diverse, as delegates from the other side of the globe come to compete.

One memorable moment from the weekend was dining at a Mediterranean restaurant, senior Ethan Kurteff says. The team did not realize that the restaurant was family-style, and as a result, they received about $50 worth of hummus.

In addition to hummus, Kurteff also enjoyed the challenge of being involved in forming plans for addressing global issues and finding resolution through debate. He has met incredibly intelligent people and developed stellar communication skills.

“I like that you get to discuss the most pressing international issues [while] considering the historical context and analyzing the contemporary aspects,” sophomore Berkeley Kendrick comments. “It is important that we always remember history so we are not condemned to repeat it.”

Marden has loved being a part of this organization, but unfortunately, due to time commitment issues and previous obligations, she will be resigning from co-advisor. She says she has truly enjoyed taking part in it and the experience.

“I want to thank Mrs. Pollock and Mrs. Marden for putting up with all of us and ensuring that we have a memorable and valuable experience in Model U.N.,” Kurteff adds. “Model U.N. is whatever experience you decide to make for yourself, so I’m glad they helped me make it a good one.”

-Joyce Doherty