This year, over forty students in the Collingwood School Model UN Club participated in five conferences, both international and regional, where students acted as diplomats for their assigned nation within a particular UN. Students in MUN learn how to work together to come to a solution that the international community will accept, how to use their public speaking skills to their advantage and how to be a leader by lobbying for global change. Over the past year, ten Collingwood students earned awards at the conferences we attended. Another highlight of the year was the NHSMUN conference in New York City where a group of senior students represented Australia in various committees. Joey Huh describes the trip with enthusiasm: "The conference was kicked off with a visit to the UN Headquarters. Our group enjoyed the challenge of debating such topics as cryptocurrencies, security in the Caribbean, cyberwarfare and dangers to journalism. This was a fun and valuable experience." Looking forward to next year, the club has a new leadership team made up of grade 9-12 students who are planning their own one-day conference at the school called, LGMUN (Lions Gate MUN). In addition, senior students will apply to attend NAIMUN, a world-renowned MUN conference in Washington DC. We look forward to a new year of growth in the art of diplomacy.
Teacher Sponsors: Ms. Duteau, Mr. Lappan, Ms. Haston, Ms. Arguelles
Despite being one of more newly established clubs in Collingwood, the Model United Nations club has, within its first year, gained numerous recruits and was able to provide numerous opportunities allowing its members to attend five different conferences across North America.
Unlike many other people in the Model United Nations club, I was new to the school and, most peculiar of all, had previous MUN experience attending several conferences in Asia as well as a summer camp in the United States that capitalized on some areas of diplomacy and debate. The whole experience started out at my old school with my friend semi-dragging me to accompany her to an after school activity, and despite the fact that I had no idea what I was doing at first, I attended the conferences in my grade 7 year and spoke up.
As I moved over to Collingwood and was presented with the opportunity, I jumped at the idea of continuing an activity that expanded my horizons and helped me open my mind to problems going on in different parts of the world. It didn't hurt that I sometimes got to miss the last class of Friday, either. Although it felt different to be working with people I had barely met, I was really surprised by the ideas brought forth by members of the group and was quickly involved in some leadership work. I could not even tell at first that the club was new and only found out a few months later.
Throughout the year, the club emphasized opportunities to go on various trips and gain more experience. I was particularly thrilled at the prospect of being in an advanced committee- the United Nations Security Council. In addition, during MUN club, we worked on various skill sets that were particularly useful in conferences and provided simulations, which really helped people relax and speak up during real conferences.
Over the course of the year, many of our members won several awards and some people in the club were able to attend other conferences that were not required. People that I knew in the club represented countries from all parts of the world, from the US to Suriname, which all had different stances on topics ranging from the AIDS crisis to the denuclearization of North Korea. Even if it was our first year, we were able to gain valuable insights into the world of international relations and make ourselves known in committee sessions.
As for the future, we are looking forward being more active and getting experience by attending more conferences as well as hosting a conference of our own. To all those who are in the club or are interested in joining, there is never such as thing as too much diplomacy, even if you represent North Korea.
- Olivia X. (Gr 8)
When I first came to Morven I saw a lot of clubs and co-curriculars that I wanted to join, but Model UN club was the one that really caught my eye. Model UN was very established and there were many opportunities for people in the club! Everyone has different perspectives of what Model UN is to them, but what is Model UN to me? At first when I joined I was a little intimidated because I didn't know anything about Model UN and I was afraid that I did not possess the knowledge needed for this club. I was what you would consider a 'newbie'. However, the teachers and the leaders from the older grades helped me so much. They taught me everything about Model UN; from writing a position paper, presenting primary speeches and even how to create a resolution paper. This club enhanced my skill set vastly. After joining the club, I was a much better communicator, leader, team worker and diplomat. During the year there were many simulations, and at first many people were afraid to go up and speak in front of their peers, but since everyone was supportive it gave me the courage to go up there and speak. I still remember the first time I presented a speech. My heart was racing and I was so nervous, but after presenting I realized that it wasn't hard at all! Everyone was so supportive and engaged it made me feel so much better. Therefore, when I attended VYMUN, VMUN and CASHMUN, I was prepared! I knew how to speak up, how to persuade the audience and express my ideas. To me, Model UN is a tight-knit community. In this club you can meet people from all different grades and interact with them. In this club you have many opportunities to work with your peers. Everyone is allowed to be the leader and take charge. Not only did this club improve my communication skills, but it also educated me about the issues that people have to face around the world. From thinking of resolutions to ensuring safety for refugees around the world, to the South China Sea dispute; this club educated me about so many issues around the world and it further motivated me to help make a change. This club educated me about the world-wide issues that are happening. It inspired me to take action and become a leader. When I first came to Morven I was more of a follower. I listened to other people and let others take the leadership position. However, Model UN changed this. Model UN taught me so many things but most importantly, it taught me how to become a leader.
Jena Y. (Grade 8)