By Sasha Dudock
If you have noticed the campus feeling a little bit empty over the past week, you may have been missing the students on the Model UN team who were in New York City for their final competition of the season.
The team continued their winning streak, being awarded the highest honor of the conference, the Outstanding Delegation award, for two of the three countries they represented.
The third country representing winning the second highest honor of the conference.
Alma’s team has been competing for 29 years and not long after starting, the program began to gain high honors, amounting now to an impressive 25-year streak.
Now Alma’s team has more outstanding delegation awards than any school in the 95-year history of the conference.
The National Model UN competition brings students from all over the world together to collaborate and address real world issues.
More than 50% of students at the conference were from outside the U.S.
“The experience was life changing. My favorite part was meeting all of the international students. I got lunch with a boy from Venezuela and we had an eye-opening conversation about opportunities and privilege,” said Destiny Herbers (‘21).
Besides the perk of spending a week in New York City, the MUN team, as well as all the other school’s teams, were allowed into the United Nations General Assembly for the final awards ceremony.
The general assembly being where all countries in the United Nations work together to correct world issues, and thus an amazing opportunity.
Model UN, also known as MUN, is a rigorous set of winter courses, led by Derick Hulme, professor of political science and nationally competitive scholarship advisor.
“I think that Dr. Hulme is incredibly knowledgeable. He demands a lot, but if we put in the work, he can prepare us for success better than anyone else could,” said Herbers.
The MUN team prepares extensively through weekly tests and speeches, but since the class is only once a week it allows for students to create their own style of learning researching and the material.
“I practice my speeches until I can deliver them with ease. I find documentaries on the issues I’m researching. I dive into these topics and research them so thoroughly in preparation for my office presentations with Dr. Hulme,” said Paige Bartkowiak (‘18).
Office presentations are common occurrences within the MUN team, where students explain their topic and research to Dr. Hulme as a quiz.
According to Bartkowiak,
“These presentations are the one thing I believe makes our team different and makes us stand out in conference.”
The New York conference was an especially difficult time for the MUN seniors.
“Sitting in the UN General Assembly [Hall] the last day knowing it was my last MUN [conference] was a bittersweet feeling,” said Bartkowiak.
“I left everything I have to give in New York this year and I am so happy with the future of our team. I know we have prepared the next generation of MUNners who will continue to persevere and figure out how to make a difference in this world.”
Upperclassmen will continue to help teach the new members, leading the team.
This makes preparation, as well as the conference, a real bonding experience for the MUN team.
MUN is a fantastic way to gain a community of truly caring people while also becoming a better global citizen.
“It’s a lot of hard work, but you get out of it what you put into it,” said Blaze Wilson (‘18).