Model United Nations: a model club

Sebastian Paine, the co-president of Model United Nations along with Eric Choi, put in his two cents regarding one of the most active clubs at Dougherty Valley High School.

Model United Nations was well established before Paine joined, though he noted that as a freshman, the club comprised of only around 10 members. It has grown so exponentially in the past four years that they now max out at conferences.

But what exactly is MUN and what does it do?

Although comparable to Speech and Debate in terms of being a competitive event that involves public speaking, MUN differs in that it is geared towards those with an interest in International Relations or similar fields.

The club goes to various conferences all around the Bay Area and even beyond those boundaries. They’ve been to Berkeley and Davis and are planning to go to Santa Clara for an upcoming conference.

Leading up to conferences, the team spends weeks doing research about a country and its position on a topic or two. Afterwards, they each create a position paper, which essentially compiles all the research they have done weeks prior while synthesizing how the country’s policies relate to past UN actions.

At conferences, the club joins MUN’s from other schools and debates the topics in regards to the country and position a person has researched.

“The main goal is to work with the other countries represented and create a resolution, which is essentially a bill that addresses the problem,” Paine states.

But MUN is more than just an opportunity for Dougherty students to go to conferences to build up their resume. The club not only exercises public speaking skills but also connects high school students to ongoing issues beyond the borders of United States.

“MUN is short of actually going to another country or doing some sort of groundwork,” Paine, who plans on majoring in International Relations after his experience with the club, mentions.

And people don’t have to be interested in International Relations to necessarily join. There’s a diverse range of topics that the club covers, and people who enjoy history or social studies are encouraged to join and apply what they’re interested in to current events.

Although there is only one more conference, which will be held in May, students are still able to join the club by contacting any of the officers.

When asked what else he’d like to mention to prospective MUN-ers, Pain said, “MUN is FUN.”