Model UN Overview

Ewan Alvarez, Staff Writer

Model UN has always been a club advertised about lying your way to awards—you act as a delegate for a given country and, with either former knowledge, extensive research, or making it up on the spot, you argue for your country’s view. That said, when talking about Model UN there are usually two kinds of people: the first takes political and fiscal issues very seriously and is largely politically active, and the second does little to no research, usually writes the bare minimum for their position paper, and focuses on networking, making friends, and having fun instead.

Writing from the point of view of the latter, I have always loved Model UN. Starting in freshman year, meeting the very outgoing people in my committee always calmed my nerves and removed any anxiety. I remember instantly being approached at my first conference by much older students who helped me debate and speak publicly better, purely because they wanted the conference to be enjoyable so I continued doing Model UN. Additionally, speaking personally, it is a lot of fun lying about statistics and joking in front of people who take it very seriously. Even Omega’s own editor Mathew Yeager reminisces on our past conferences saying, “Meeting all the people in friendly competition was easily my favorite thing about AMUN.”

When talking about the former, it’s oddly satisfying to finish a position paper and present your delegates’ views for the first time. At NORTHMUNC, the first conference I went to, I was presenting the views of Croatia to the rest of the mock UN and was absolutely terrified. I mistakenly signed up for the speaker’s list, the first event, and haphazardly jotted all my ideas down on a notepad. After giving what was hardly an ok speech, I was practically shaking, both with excitement and anxiety. The slight feeling of pride in stating my country’s argument and beginning to make a name for myself at the conference was like no other.

Due to COVID, this year and previous years have been slower than usual, yet I am still hopeful that the club will pick up again as more and more schools open up. It has been discussed that, due to a lack of commitment from many club members, those who are serious about attending conferences will go as a smaller party, which actually opens up great opportunities. A smaller party will allow those participating as larger countries, which are easy to research and debate. Additionally, other delegates often expect and converse with these countries, like the UK and US, and they just as often win awards.

Overall, I would encourage anyone with a competitive nature or an interest in debate to join Model UN. Practically everyone who has done it before will tell you that conferences are a lot of fun—there is a great sense of community and, with a little bit of confidence, you have a good chance at winning an award. If you do not have confidence, even better! Model UN helps greatly with public speaking— it pushes you to get out of your comfort zone. At the start of freshman year, I had barely done any public speaking at all. By the end of the year, however, I was a 9th-grade representative and presentations became significantly easier. Not to mention, it will look great on your college application.