Ever Wanted to Nuke a Country? JOIN MODEL UN!


Photo Credit: Leon [Ceruleon#1657 on the UHS MUN Discord]

Pola Kasprzak, Reporter

You’ve probably heard some news about the United Nations [UN] floating around once in a while around your history or social studies classes, and may think it’s just boring political stuff [minus the one time BTS showed up, of course]. However, what if I told you that there was so much more to the UN than solemn speeches? What if I told you that it was a chance to try and solve almost every global issue imaginable? And what if I told you there was a much more fun way to replicate this important part of the world right here at Urbana? 

Introducing our very own MUN! [Model UN]

For club meetings, all held under the watchful eye of faculty advisor Ms. McBroom and 10 student officers, MUN members assemble in the library after school and discuss important parts of what the MUN does and important parts of the club and the conferences we go to. These meetings generally cover stuff like how to research and write your position paper [because, of course, the fun parts come with some effort], explaining the basics of parliamentary procedure [which isn’t really as difficult as it sounds], and, later on, splitting off into groups based on what assembly / topic each member chose at the MUN Orientation at Frederick High that occurred in early October.

There are typically loads of assemblies to choose from, such as General Assemblies 1 and 2 [which are usually the easiest and friendliest for new delegates], the Security Council [which is only open to those with prior experience], and other specialized committees such as the WHO / World Health Organization, Human Rights Council, Spanish committee [which is held entirely in Spanish and recommended for AP/IB Spanish students], and the African Union. Each committee has their own topic to research, write about, and discuss with fellow delegates, and are all usually based on real world events.

But all of this work isn’t just to stay in school and play pretend in the library, but instead to go to the county-wide FCPSMUN conference, held in January. This conference is held in Hood College in Frederick each year, and offers students a chance to shine and put on a show as the delegate for their respective countries. You dress up nice, play [relatively] nice, and perform a bit for a chance to win best delegate in your committee. What better way could you find to spend a Saturday morning?

Well, maybe sleeping.

But overall, coming from a member of the MUN club and current officer who’s done this conference 3 times, both virtually during the pandemic and in-person before that, I can say that this club is pretty fun, and super welcoming to new members. Even if the idea of joining a club filled with “parliamentary this” and “conference that” sounds intimidating at first, it’s super easy to catch up to what you’re supposed to do and not do, and everyone around is super willing to help. 

As for opinions from new members, most seem to be pretty positive so far! Charles Bai [10] said, “So far my experience, although very limited, has been very good and smooth. All of my questions have been answered and I know that any that I may have can be answered as well.” When asked if they would invite any friends to the club, another club member, who wished to remain unnamed, responded “Yeah! It seems pretty fun and I’ve been enjoying the process.”

Although it’s a little late to join this year, since most of the delegation slots in the FCPSMUN conference are filled up and the deadline for position papers is creeping closer and closer, there’s always a chance in the years to come for underclassmen, and even chances to try in college for upperclassmen, since many colleges offer MUN clubs themselves.

And yes. You can pretend to nuke other countries if you really really want to. Dunno how much the committee chairs would appreciate it, though.