The Model United Nations of the University of Chicago will be hosting its 32nd annual conference on Feb. 6-9. At the event, students will be exposed to a variety of opportunities to engage in modern-day world issues as well as enhance their communication skills.
Since 1988, MUNUC’s purpose has been educating high school students in the arts of debate, negotiation and public speaking. It provides a forum in which students can hone their skills, and introduces them to the fascinating realities and complexities of international relations. It also demonstrates the potential of the United Nations in resolving international problems, while demonstrating its limitations.
Over 3,000 high school students nationwide come together during the four-day forum to sharpen their skills and engage in international organizations. Eighteen students from Warren Central will be attending this year’s MUNUC conference with social studies teacher Nicholas Salemi.
“I look for students within my International Relations class that I think would be a good fit and are interested, and if I do not have enough IR students, I go out and recruit other students,” Salemi said.
Salemi has been taking students to the annual MUNUC conference for 23 years. From his experience, he decides to recruit students that are interested in what is happening in the world and students that show leadership skills.
“It is an opportunity for students to grow and learn. This is a challenging, and in some ways, scary event,” Salemi said.
At the conference, students are asked to stand in front of a large crowd and speak as an authoritative figure to represent a country and give its view on a global problem.
This year, Warren Central students were assigned to represent Romania. Then, they are placed in a committee such as the World Health Organization or the Security Council. Each committee has two topics that they will discuss, debate and attempt to solve.
“It is a chance for me to explore more about international relations, diplomacy and collaboration with amazing students,” senior Duyen Quang said.
This is Quang’s second year participating in the conference. She was part of the rare group of juniors who were able to step in and participate in MUNUC last year.
The conference brings together a diverse group of scholars who have different backgrounds and different aspirations. This allows students to become acquainted with challenges like working hard and overcoming their fears.
“This is a great leadership experience for students to learn in a cooperative manner, share ideas and gain the courage and experience of speaking in front of a large crowd,” Salemi said.