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Model UN Dominates

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Focusing on the other countries’ thoughts and ideas, she attempts to adopt a calm appearance. Miriam Porros anxiously tapped her feet and tried to ignore the blood pounding in her ears. She told herself, “All right. Just get up there and talk.”       

“Representative from India, you have the floor,” says the chair.  

As she rises from her chair, the nerves start to kick in. She brings her prewritten position in hand and walks to the front of the room filled with around 50 professionally dressed strangers. Attentive eyes stare as she begins to speak. Exposing her relaxed disguise for a few seconds, she stutters through her words, but reconnects her eagerness to share her country’s (India) views and rediscovers her self-confidence in a matter of seconds.   

From December 1st to December 3rd

, East Leyden Model UN members traveled to Lansing, Michigan to engage in the Canadian-American Security Councils (CASC). Model UN is a “simulated United Nations experience where students act as delegates from countries in the United Nations,” explained club sponsor, Mr. Jomarron. They participate in about sixteen councils such as the African Union, the European Union, the Organization of American States, the League of Arab States, NATO, ASEAN, ECOSOC, and more to discuss the most crucial issues in the world.

“Walking into the committee room is nerve-racking,” Senior Model UN member Miriam Porras shares, “but then I started talking and my nerves went away…I talked about my country (India’s) view on free trade and the impacts it’s had on the Indian economy.”  

Porras represented India in the Economic and Social Council(ECOSOC), which discussed the reduction of global trade restrictions and measures to reduce global inequality of wealth. In these meetings, the end goal is to create as many productive and reasonable resolutions as possible.

“I didn’t go up immediately, I wanted to hear other kids speak, and the leaders became apparent quickly,” Porras explains.   

The “leaders” Porras speaks of are the delegates’ whose voices and arguments displayed their fascination for Model UN. As they present their ideas and positions with surprising energy early in the morning, their enthusiasm sent shivers down my spine. For example, Porras was the delegate from India, and she constantly asked for “point of inquiry to the speaker”(which allows other delegates to question the speaker)and proceeded to a heated discussion with the delegate from Algeria. In fact, Porras ended up becoming one of those prominent leaders of the committee; teaming up with Algeria and South Africa, they drafted a resolution that addressed wealth disparity with other countries that shared her nation’s viewpoint.  

Don’t think that the room is full of uptight strangers who want show that they are better. For example, in Porras’ experience, “the girl next to me convinced me to get up there after maybe 15 minutes of other kids’ speeches.” Porras explains that everyone in the room sits in the same boat full of nerves, so everyone will support each other. Although, of course, the more prepared for a meet by being motivated to complete some research will influence participation and improves experiences to enjoy the social interaction between other delegates.

Model UN not only excites those who are fascinated by foreign affairs, political science, law, and debate, but, as Senior Model UN member Kacie Judge shares, “you strengthen your public speaking, and network to make new friends…with people from a lot of different states…”

Sound like fun? Join the Model UN emailing list by emailing Mr. Jomarron at  [email protected] for more information. Model UN has the ability to attend meets across the nation such as Lansing, Michigan; St. Ignatius High School, Carl Sandburg High School, Lyons Township, and even Washington D.C. Lastly, Model UN also attends the Chicago Council of Global Affairs events where speakers offer a presentation or a holds a panel to discuss issues across the world. For instance, Secretary of State John Kerry, media bigwigs from NBC talk about Vladimir Putin, authors, organizers of a group called 96 Elephants, and others.

Model UN is, expressed by Porras, “pretty cool [because you can] come up with resolutions and try to solve these real-world problems.”

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Model UN Dominates