Model UN: Preparing for the Future

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By Megan Cohen

In the future, many students will have a career that involves public speaking, research, or teamwork. While there are opportunities throughout a high school career to improve such skills, students worldwide are able to extensively practice these abilities through Model United Nations (Model UN).

Model UN is just what it sounds like: imitations of United Nations conferences. “A group of about ten is assigned a country at a Model UN conference,” senior Samantha Peppers explained. “You research everything about your country, then write papers about certain issues and debate about them.” Peppers has had a great experience with the organization, saying she’s “met a lot of people and learned a lot from [Model UN] about world affairs. It’s really opened my eyes.”

English teacher Mrs. Moussaoui is the sponsor of Model UN. “I previously sponsored the Model UN at the private school I used to work for in Alexandria,” she shared. “I’ve been interested in [Model UN] for the past ten years.”

Moussaoui firmly believes the club is beneficial for Tuscarora, stating, “It helps students learn how to engage with the world. And since it’s student-led, [students can] improve in organization and leadership skills.”

BestDelegate, an education company that often hosts Model UN conferences, posted the three top reasons to join Model UN: its ability to improve your leadership skills, teach you about the world in a fun way, and help you get into college and find jobs more easily. “I want to major in international relations when I’m in college, so Model UN will look good on my college application[s],” said Peppers.

Another advocate for the club is the United Nations Association itself, which stated on its website that “Model UN teaches vital skills in negotiation, public speaking, problem solving, conflict resolution, research, and communication. Model UN also gives students and teachers the opportunity to meet interesting new people and make new friends.”

The first Model UN convention occurred in 1927 at Harvard University, and since then, thousands of people have been positively affected by the organization, such as Peppers and sophomore Swanny Shi. “Model UN has made me more aware of current events, and has really helped me improve in public speaking,” said Shi.

Model UN meets in room 601 every Wednesday morning at 8:15. In terms of who Moussaoui thinks would be well-suited for Model UN, she believes “anyone who is interested in what is going on in the world and has good ideas for how to make it a better place.”