Thinking critically about world problems

SHS introduces Model U.N. to students



Seniors Jennifer Torres and Ulises Morales Gervacio and junior Jonah Gotkin sit and smile on the couch as Kevin Sanders conducts the Model U.N. meeting. The group meets each Monday and is open to all students.

SHS has recently started a club called Model U.N. It is a club where students work together to create a stimulation of the real United Nations. 

The United Nations is an organization of people who come together to decide on ways to maintain peace among nations. They discuss world issues like human rights, problems regarding sustainable lifestyles, counter terrorism and more. 

They’re able to accomplish this by meeting at conferences and discussing solutions to world problems. Model U.N. does this through the views of their assigned country. 

Club sponsor Kevin Sanders leads the group meeting. Sanders presented a slideshow for the students to look at. (Johnny)

Model UN meets on Mondays and the meetings last about two to three hours. They meet in class 230J in the social studies hallway with Social Studies teacher Kevin Sanders, the club sponsor.

Senior Tianyi Jing, a member of Model U.N., says that according to Sanders, this year is the first time the club has been introduced to SHS. 

This club could be beneficial for Jing’s current interest in a government-related occupation in the future because of the experience, new knowledge and other benefits. 

Jing has gained new information about the actual departments of the United Nations through this club. According to him, they’ve learned a lot about the countries and the policies that are usually discussed.

According to Jing, Model U.N. will soon be going on field trips to places including Indiana University Bloomington to get some professional guidance. 

When visiting Model U.N. conferences, students spend about two to three days at their designated place. On these trips, students are able to learn how to think on their feet, practice and recall the skills they’ve been rehearsing and win “Best Delegate.”

“Best Delegate” is an award given to the member who has represented their country in the most authentic way and has used accurate procedure to get their resolutions across.

Although conferences cost money, students are given a few months’s notice to get their final payments in before the time comes. Their largest conference they’re going to currently is $50 per delegate.

Sanders hopes that students are able to overcome their social anxiety and talk to new people through this club. 

Junior Jonah Gotkin is also a member of Model U.N. He says that being in Model U.N. has taught him how to think critically about real world problems.

He believes one of the most important things that he has gained from Model UN is learning how to be able to ignore his own thoughts and opinion so that he can speak from a country’s viewpoint.

It has helped me gain a new perspective and think of the world as a whole, and not just my own country.

— Jonah Gotkin

“It has helped me gain a new perspective and think of the world as a whole,” Gotkin said. “And not just my own country.”

Gotkin encourages students to join Model UN because of all the benefits that come along with it like improving public speaking, learning how to do research, government related topics and many other skills that can be applied to future professions. 

According to Sanders, there are many opportunities that students are able to take through Model U.N. Some students enjoy being professional while discussing political issues. Others enjoy the versatile skills taught in the club like research, writing, learning about law, government and more.

“It’s a unique opportunity to really get to do something really well and find your own place as you do so,” Sanders said. 

There are no requirements to meet for joining the club, it is open for anybody who has passion for things like debating, role-playing, having their opinions heard or has interests that are applicable in the outside world. 

Model U.N. plays a great role in being able to build someone’s resume. Along with other benefits like students being able to gain a deeper understanding of things that happen around the world. 

“It’s more complicated than most of the clubs we have,” Jing said. 

They’re able to find ways to problem solve for issues that many politicians discuss. This includes answers for questions about climate change, ethnic genocides, human rights abuses and many other insightful questions.

At the end of the day, I want students in Model U.N. to find their own sense of value in the club,” Sanders said.