Preparing for Greatness


Mason McCloud

Your pulse quickens, your throat tightens, your palms sweat as you stand to speak in front of your committee.  This rush of adrenaline is all-too-familiar for every Model United Nations participant.

With an upcoming conference at Weber State on Saturday, March 24, Timpview’s MUN club is preparing for the Utah High School Model UN (UHSMUN) 2018 Conference at the University of Utah on Tuesday, April 17.

But what is Model United Nations?

A selection of countries are assigned to each school, and participants are able to choose which nations and committees to serve on.  Students then must learn to prepare position papers on assigned topics, specific to each committee. Papers are submitted to the overseeing assembly of each conference.

Once at a conference, student “delegates” will break into their respective committees following an opening ceremony, and spend the majority of the morning drafting “resolutions” to the problems facing their committee.  During the afternoon, delegates vote to pass their resolutions. At the end of the day, awards for outstanding participation and exceptionally-written position papers are given.

“It’s a challenging way to think about diplomacy, only from a standpoint of ‘How can I talk these people into listening to me before they figure out that I don’t know anything?’” junior Dillon Jensen said.  “It’s improvisational diplomacy.”

Students are presented the opportunity to practice the traits of compromise, critical thinking skills, group leadership, and problem-solving while working to form resolutions with delegates from other schools.  Operating to simulate an actual United Nations meeting, MUN teaches students about democracy on the international level.

Most high schools sending students to the UHSMUN Conference offer Model United Nations as an in-school course, similar to Debate or Journalism.  Timpview, however, has neither the staff nor the space for an MUN class, so T-Birds must join the Model UN Club if they wish to compete.

“I like the interaction with new people from other schools,” junior Sophie Houghton said.  “I like the opportunity to gain responsibilities outside my everyday life.”

Any students wishing to join MUN in preparation for the State Conference can attend Model UN meetings in room I-16 (Dr. Smith’s room) on Tuesdays during lunch.  Position papers for the State Conference are due March 30.