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Model United Nations: What It’s Like Being a Delegate

In the beginning of March, twenty students and three teacher chaperones headed off to New York City to participate in the National High School Model United Nations conferences (or NHSMUN). NHSMUN is one of the largest Model UN conferences, with over 3,000 delegates attending every year. There are good parts and bad parts, and a lot of funny moments. I spoke with Jackie Walzer, who was on the Security Council, about her experience.

Amber (A): How long have you been doing model UN?
Jackie (J): 2 years.

A: Why do you participate in model UN?
J:  It is a good opportunity to become well versed in current events. It also helps improve your public speaking skills, and you get to make friends with people from all over the world.

A: What was the best part about NHSMUN?
J: The best part was the delegate dance on the Friday of the conference. It was really interesting to see the differences in delegate behavior when they were in a non-MUN situation. During committee, everyone has to follow very strict rules about procedure and decorum, and the dance was when the delegates relaxed after three tense days of debate and resolution-writing.

A: You were on a specialized committee (Security Council). What was that like?
J: Security Council only has about 20 delegates so it is very intimate and fast-paced. Everyone was really intense and prepared with huge binders. It was really amazing to see so many intelligent people coming up with amazing points.

A:  Any part of Model UN you don’t particularly enjoy?
J: This year, because I was on the security council, I (along with Julia Searby) was woken up at 1 in the morning to deal with a “crisis.” The Security Council had to meet from 1am to 4:30am, which was certainly difficult because I was so tired, and it’s hard to have productive debate when you’re still sleepy. I actually fell asleep during this committee session, which was a little embarrassing. But at the same time that it was pretty tough to get through that, it made it a true simulation, because that kind of thing can happen with the real security council.

A: What would you say to people who want to do Model UN?
J: I would say that it is a great opportunity both educationally and socially. While it may seem intimidating, there really isn’t much to it. You can become an extremely strong delegate by preparing well and researching your country in-depth.

A: That was great, thank you Jackie.
J: You’re welcome.



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