By Isha Trivedi '19
On Saturday, October 28, Notre Dame students from the Model United Nations club attended the Delegate Workshop hosted by UC Berkeley’s Model UN club (also known as BMUN).
Model UN is a club that does almost exactly what its title suggests––it models a traditional United Nations session, with individual high school students representing countries as delegates. The club attends conferences where students, or groups of students, are assigned a country and represent that country’s views on certain issues. After researching their assigned country’s position on the given issue for a conference, the students attend the conference and participate in a formal, diplomatic discussion to work with other countries and their delegates to pass a resolution that has the greatest benefit.
The BMUN workshop provided club officers and some dedicated club members an opportunity to fully understand the process of Model UN––from giving opening speeches to writing resolutions. Students were able to grasp the concepts explained in the workshop in a very concrete way. The first part of the session was reserved for teaching and explaining how exactly everything would run in an ordinary conference. The second half was an actual simulation of a MUN conference around the topic of capital punishment. Students were assigned various countries and provided with prewritten research on that country's views of the topic.
Model UN is a great way for students to become informed about foreign affairs and practice diplomacy and public speaking in a proper setting. It is important, especially in this political climate, to help teenagers become more involved in the global community. It is easy for today’s youth to feel helpless in the face of injustice, but Model UN is a wonderful opportunity for students to work towards concrete solutions to the problems that they see in the world.