This past weekend, I had the incredible opportunity to be on staff at Philadelphia Model United Nations, a four day debate conference for high school students. Working as the assistant director for the Commission on the Status of Women, my director and I spent this weekend facilitating discussion on the topics of Women in STEM and Women in Politics. The disputes and eventual resolutions that came about in committee through our group of high school delegates were absolutely insightful and undoubtedly remarkable. In addition to celebrating Girl Power throughout the world, the delegates became more aware of the process of compromise and what it means to reach an international agreement.
To those interested in applying to Rutgers, many of you have probably attended one of the many Model United Nations conferences run by some of RU’s finest students. Whether it is Rutgers Model U.N. right on the Rutgers campus or Philadelphia Model U.N. in the historic old city, these experiences of debate and international camaraderie are invaluable to the high school students who attend them. For anyone unsure of what Model U.N. is, it is a simulation of the actual U.N. where high school students come together in different committees, such as the U.N. Development Program and the World Health Organization, and represent nations to tackle various global topics. The various conferences are organized by IDIA, or the Institute for Domestic and International Affairs, and staffed by college students all passionately invested in global politics and in creating a discourse-centered environment for students to learn as well as have fun in.
Model U.N. was a large part of my high school career, and even though I did not attend any IDIA conferences, I knew I still wanted to get involved as a staff member at Rutgers. While I loved the debate aspect of Model U.N., being on the other side of committee has been phenomenal and just as much of a learning experience. Before the conference, I heavily researched the two topics picked by our director, created a comprehensive research binder, and looked through countless Position Papers carefully written by our delegates. Within committee, my director and I were committed to creating an environment for our students where all of them felt comfortable speaking and were encouraged to dive into the topics being discussed. By looking at this experience as part of the Chair, I realized that Model U.N. is so much more than just being recognized for winning an award. It is about the genuine want to create a global change, even if it is within a simulation, and to have the ability to compromise with others to create a solution that will benefit the most people. The best part of the experience was seeing our delegates grow as speakers, become “Parli-Pros” at Parliamentary Procedure, and evolve into expert negotiators. Also, bonding with all the astonishing and brilliant people on staff was beyond extraordinary.
The intelligence, maturity, and determination each delegate brought to the committee proved they were all well beyond their years. The same diligence could be seen within the staff, from our fearless Secretariat to the Directors and Logistics and Simulations teams which provided the framework of the conference. Whether or not you did Model U.N. in high school, anyone can benefit from an experience on staff. For anyone interested in global relations, teaching, and creating a multi-dimensional conference experience on international politics for high school students, IDIA is definitely the organization for you!
To learn more, visit modelun.com