2019 Model UN proves to be ‘wonderful experience’

Kris Long, Staff Writer

The Manhattan High Model UN excelled in this year’s event with three placing members in multiple categories, more placers than ever before in program history.

On February 25 and 26, the 28 members of Model UN traveled to Topeka to participate in the annual United Nations simulation. They were a few of the around 600 students who converged in Topeka last week to discuss global issues and their impact on the world.

“I [went] … into the conference to have some fun debate and talk about issues I care about through the lens of my country [Morocco],” junior William Bannister said.

Three MHS students placed at Model UN. Bannister placed second speaker in his respective council. In the foreign wears competition junior Dominyk Metlevski with his Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth costume took first and freshman Maverick Aggson’s costume representing a French foreign legion took third.

Overall the team did very well this year. Although only three members placed everyone had researched their topics thoroughly and put forward their best work.

“They did [very well this] year,” Model UN advisor Janel Stark said. “Our people are engaged and making great arguments, great speeches in affirmation and negation and they can think on their feet. We had …  fifteen resolutions accepted [this year], last year I believe we had five accepted [showing] great growth and great improvement.”

Participating in Model UN gives students a perspective on the world that is new to most of them. By immersing themselves in the problems of the world through the perspective of a specific culture students can better understand other countries positions on major issues.

“I thinks it’s really important that students are able to have a world view and … looking through the lens of another country really helps people appreciate how others might view the world,” Bannister said.

Participating in Model UN also allows students to develop a multitude of skills that aren’t part of normal school environments. These include most notably public speaking, research, writing, problem solving and debate. All of these skills play key roles in a multitude of careers as well as college education.

“I would encourage more people [to do] Model UN,” Aggson said. “Public speaking is a very essential part of any career. Any career you go into … you’re going to need that ability to convince other people. Doing something like this may have nothing to do with [your career of interest but] it’s still really good to get that skill of talking with other people and being able to convince other people as well [it’s a] wonderful experience for any career out there.”

As well as developing those skills participants learn the life long skill of keeping themselves correctly informed about current events.

“Students who are successful at Model UN are totally engaged in what’s happening in the global world right now and are consumers of news … that is balanced and ethical and factual,” Stark said. “They have to be able to sort … through [news items] because when they step into that council room when they’re debating members from other countries they have to also know what someone else from another country [is] going to say or how they are going to react and the only way to do that is to be knowledgeable about what’s happening in current global affairs.”