Each year, the Model United Nations (Model UN) club at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) travels to New York City for the annual National High School Model United Na- tions Conference, where students from around the globe convene to debate and discuss topics such as terrorism, world health, banking, and national resources, simulating the processes of the actual United Nations.
Students in Model UN meet every Monday begin- ning in October to prepare for the conference. After being assigned a country, students pick a partner , a committee, and topics to research and write about for their position papers. Topics covered by MVRHS students in preparation for this year’s conference included the Lebanese Civil War, the exile of the Rohingya people from Myanmar, and combating terrorism in Southeast Asia.
Senior co-presidents Allyse Guyther and Louise McDonald have worked on making the club more interactive this year, emphasizing the importance of prac- ticing debate in meet- ings. Allyse said, “Being confident in representing your voice and opinion is really important.”
Another important aspect of preparation is research. Allyse said, “Everyone [in New York] has researched every- thing to the fine-tuned detail.”
Because MVRHS does not have a Model UN course elective like some other schools who attend the conference, members are encouraged to work outside of the weekly meetings in order to maximize preparation.
Senior JP Alves is a two-year member of the Model UN club. He said, “I felt more prepared and motivated this year after having practiced debate more often throughout the year. I felt more comfortable bringing up my points and perspectives.”
This year, more than 5,000 students from over 75 countries attended the conference , and MVRHS students were quick to acknowledge the benefits of international perspective.
“It was inspiring to see a bunch of students my age from around the globe debating and conversing,” said JP.
“I met students from Chile, Mexico, and Ven- ezuela this year,” said junior Chloe Hoff. “You get to see an outside vision of how America is seen which is interesting. Also, It was cool to see that [international students] speak Eng- lish so fluently.”
While many members felt prepared to expand, share, and debate their perspectives at the conference, club leaders still have goals to improve their intellectual experience. “The club still has a lot of room to grow,” said Allyse. “But the four days at Model UN were incredibly educational, and every year we make strides in the right direction.”