Model UN students engage in debate, search for solutions on a global scale


Students participate at a Model UN conference in the fall.

Sydney Anderson, Staff Writer

The St. Pius X community offers a wide range of extracurricular activities for students to participate in. This includes academic, cultural, and hobby clubs as well as outdoor activities. One of these aforementioned organizations is Model United Nations, or Model UN. Moderated by social studies teacher Mr. Ellis Thomas, Model UN is a club where students with an interest in world economics and debate can spend time engaging in solution writing, eventually competing against other schools at conventions. 

 Members must write a paper on an assigned topic. Known as “solution writing,” students are tasked with researching previously passed laws and their impacts, and from this information, they must formulate an effective idea to resolve the problem with which they were assigned.

“They can use historical context and things that have been done in the past to be a model for whatever their idea is,” Mr. Thomas said. “The goal is usually to be as realistic as possible.”  

At the competitions, students from various schools are organized into one of six groups by their assigned topic: general assembly one, general assembly two, general assembly three, world health organization, crisis, and security council. Students in each group are given a placard representing a different country. To begin debates, participants must first motion for either a moderated or unmoderated debate. 

In a moderated debate, the student who motioned stands up as their country and presents their solution to the given topic. In an unmoderated debate, all members of the convention stand and they can form alliances. These alliances are not limited to schools and students are free to team up with anyone. Once these alliances are formed, the groups write resolution papers together and present them to the committee, which is composed of mostly students from the hosting school and one other high school or college student.

“Throughout the entire conference, they’re allowed to break out into what are called caucuses and they can work with each other to basically draft or write an idea or solution. You know, if we’re talking about a food shortage crisis; what would the solution look like? What would countries have to give up?” Mr. Thomas said.

Based upon the nature of the organization Model UN often appears intimidating, but club members said this is a common misconception.

 “I was really nervous when I first signed up because it was something completely out of my comfort zone… but, once I walked into the classroom for the first interest meeting, it was such a fun group of people. Everyone was so loving,” sophomore Katherine Claire Kennedy said. 

As for the actual purpose of the club, sophomore Aryana Wadhwani said, “To people who may not be interested, I would say it basically helps you learn to tackle problems and gives you a deeper understanding of the world around you.” 

This club does not only offer a creative outlet for members interested in writing and economics, but it also helps to expand students’ horizons in multiple ways.