Students Solve Real-World Problems in Model UN

Dimond students that have an interest in world news and politics flocked to the Model UN Club to learn about and replicate the United Nations. Model UN gives students the opportunity to simulate and solve real world problems as assigned countries.

Dimond Sophomore Averyl Cobb said, “As students we are assigned countries and we simulate their behavior in the United Nations. We pretend to solve world problems and crises, and we do talk about real world problems.”

Dimond Senior Hahna Wood said, “Model UN is really just like the United Nations. Delegates representing almost every country come together in hopes of solving problems in the world.”

The Model UN Club is run by Dimond Social Studies Teacher Lem Wheeles and meet every Friday at lunch. In the club students prepare for an annual conference made up of different delegations from different schools.

The conference happens once a year where students come together to solve a world problem, acting as their assigned countries and mimicking the way that their country would react in the crisis. This year’s conference focused on global equality.

Cobb said, “Thursday, right after school you go to the UAA campus and you sit in mock general assembly, where you sit in alphabetical order of your country with your delegation and you’re introduced to this year. The next day, from eight in the morning to five in the afternoon, you are in small committee and you go through the minutiae of resolutions and details.”

Wood said, “At Model UN there are students, both high school and college, and we all study the country we are representing and try to act and make decisions in the same way that they would in the real thing.”

Dimond Senior Gigi Powelson said, “We come together as different countries in order to solve one world problem. Half the time we are in general assembly where everyone from different countries come together, and the other half we are in individual committees.”

Delegations have students in different committees to represent their country in the conference.

Wood said, “There was UN Women, UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, World Health Organization, and more. These committees bring resolutions on things that they think are important to their nation-state, and people will debate it and vote on however they think would be best for their country.”

Cobb said, “You have to understand what the country would do in real life, because you have to emulate them in debate and voting.”

Although faced with delays with events happening last semester and having to start practicing two months late, Dimond’s China delegation was awarded the best high school delegation for their excellent involvement in world issues.

Cobb said, “We had a person on every committee, we were involved in an international criminal court case, everybody was present and we all spoke in front of the general assembly. As a team we were really good.”

Model UN provides an environment to learn real life politics and issues, and experience first hand how world powers make decisions. It’s an opportunity for anyone interested in politics.

Powelson said, “I definitely suggest that anyone who that is even a little bit interested in world politics should join. It’s so much fun, and you get to meet a lot of new people that you wouldn’t normally be friends with.”

Wood said, “Without a doubt, I think that is something that anyone who has an interest in knowing about world issues should do Model UN. It’s insane how much you can learn in less than three days, and I was able to gain a very different perspective on the world.”