In a world where internatonal relationships are growing tense and fragile, today’s generation of kids are going to be the ones to step up and try and change that. At Jamesville-DeWitt High School, students in Model United Nations are getting hands-on experience for what trying to create solutions to these tensions is like.
On Nov. 4 and Nov 5. The Model United Nations club attended a conference at Hilton High School in Rochester. J-DHS Model United Nations adviser Donna Oppedisano felt the conference was a success. “It was a really good conference because it was fun and the kids did really well,” says Ms. Oppedisano. “This is probably the nicest group of kids I’ve had in Model United Naions,” she said.
“(The conference) was very fun, especially researching about your topics and collaborating with other schools to develop solutions,” said senior Alex Le. Representing J-DHS, the club worked together in different committees to try and make resolutions for world issues.
Junior Kelsey Braun says MUN is “a good way to improve your public speaking skills and learn more about international affairs.” Braun was satisfied with the Hilton conference; “I think I did a lot better than I have in the past; I got to participate a lot more than I typically do, so I was impressed with how much I talked.”
Some members of MUN felt the conferene could have gone better. Junior John Underhill didn’t feel prepared for his topic on gang violence towards women in Latin America. “The issue that our committee chose wasn't the one I would've chosen but it was a really good topic and it had a lot of depth to it.” says Underhill. Junior Kayley Hill agrees, adding, “there were a lot of new delegates there so it got a little frustrating trying to teach them procedure.”
“It’s fun to take the position of a country and give their viewpoint in conflicts,” says junior Nick Lorenzo. Lorenzo participated in the Crisis committee and was pleased with his performance. “I think I did well, I've done it quite a few times so I knew what to expect.” he says.
As a part of the Unicef committee, junior Milena Romano participates in MUN to improve her skills.
“Its really challenging so it pushes you to think and be creative, it also enhances your public speaking skills and you meet new people,” says Romano.
The seniors of the group reflected on their experiences in MUN throughout their high school careers. “I began MUN because a lot of my friends did it and after doing a couple conferences I found it very fun,” says senior Alex Le. Having a similar experience, senior Dan Frank said “A lot of my friends were doing it and I really enjoy foreign policies.” Frank’s performance has improved since his freshman year, “I’ve gotten a lot better at it, it comes with time and experience but its been fun,” says Frank. Seniors Matthew Schultz and Tyler Gabriel have also improved their skills during their time in MUN. Schultz has enjoyed learning more about the countries he represented and has improved on preparing for confeences.“I improved on my public speaking skils and how to write papers more effectively which is a big part of it,” says Gabriel.