Model United Nations – A Club to Consider


Xavier Maier, Editor

Over the course of the last year and a half, Arapahoe has obtained a club that most schools already had: Model United Nations. For those who do not know, Model United Nations (MUN) consists of groups of students representing different countries in the real world UN and debating resolutions to world issues together. My good friend Rafael Levy-Diner founded the club last year, and since then it has grown a bit more of a following. However, the number of people in the club is still rather small, and expansion is a primary goal.

Last weekend, on Oct. 8, we had our first conference of the year at Boulder High School. My partner Danny Guo and I represented Russia in the Ukraine-Russia conflict. It was a difficult role, and required a lot of compromise with Ukraine to find a suitable resolution to the issue. Much of the debate surrounded Russia’s forced annexation of Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula, and whether or not Russia had rightful control over it.

The conference was a very significant and educational event for me. It was only my second conference, but compared to my first, I have come leaps and bounds from where I was. MUN is all about learning diplomacy, negotiation, and cooperation in order to come to a common solution. These are important skills for a leader to have, and at this conference I definitely felt as though I was taking more away from these lessons than I had in the past.

It is very unusual that Arapahoe did not have MUN as a club until recently. Schools such as Cherry Creek and Heritage have had them for many years. Unfortunately, there does seem to be some negative stigma behind MUN. For the most part, it seems to be observed as nerdy and non-beneficial by people outside the club. I think it is high time that this changes. MUN is a phenomenal opportunity for growth in leadership, public speaking, debate, and knowledge in prevalent world issues. Contrary to popular belief, it is not just a pretend debate where groups role-play as different countries. It is a valuable chance to practice skills that are sorely needed in the world today: diplomacy, compromise, and rhetoric.

It is certainly not for everyone, and there is nothing wrong with you if you are not interested. But if even the smallest part of you wants to give it a shot, do it. You will not regret it, and if you dislike it, there is no pressure to keep doing it. It is a very low time commitment and participation is required only if you want it to be. So consider it- there are plenty of spots open, and those pressing world-issues will not solve themselves.