Model UN set for first conference

Updated: Oct 5

Delaney Smith l Feature Editor

Students participating in the Model United Nations club this year are eagerly awaiting a quickly approaching conference taking place at Lampeter Strasburg High School on Oct. 11.

There will be several conferences taking place throughout the year, and they all involve different schools from the central Pennsylvania area. Model United Nations conferences allow students to gather together to discuss global events from different perspectives.

“MUN offers an amazing experience to really explore the importance, as well as my personal interest in global politics,” said senior Brendan Sheehan. “By representing a nation in a very academic and objective way, I feel like I am able to gain a better understanding of different cultural and political personas of countries from all around the world.”

This year will be Sheehan’s fourth year participating in Model UN, and they were honored with the position of Secretary General along with senior Sarah Durning who holds the position of Under Secretary General.

“I’m excited to have some of our younger members get involved this year,” said Durning. “I think getting more people involved in our school will help grow our club.”

Watching students work and interact with each other at these conferences is very rewarding for the teachers who run Model UN.

“It is fun to see students try to solve global issues using creativity and team building,” said social studies teacher Ana Zorilla. “It gives students and advisors a better understanding of global issues and dynamics.”

Zorilla has been running Model UN for over 15 years. Social studies teacher Anita Lukridge has also been supervising this educational club for about 14 years.

“(My favorite part is) getting to take the students to the conferences and when they get one of their papers passed,” said Lukridge.

In this club, students learn public speaking skills, negotiation skills, and international relations. These skills are not easily taught in a traditional classroom setting, so this club is a great way for students to grow.

“I think it’s a good environment to learn about things that you normally wouldn’t in a typical school day,” said Durning. “It makes you more well-rounded learning about things that aren’t in the U.S.”

Lukridge and Zorilla are very excited for this year’s Model UN members, and each have conferences in mind that they are hoping to travel to this year.

“(I would like to go to) Susquehanna Valley Model UN (SVMUN),” said Lukridge. “We will also go to five conferences at different local schools.”

Last year, as the club returned to more conference involvement, members attended two conferences at Susquehanna Valley High School.

“I would love to do Penn State Harrisburg,” said Zorilla. “It is usually very fun and well organized.”

Senior year is always bittersweet for students, especially for those who are leaders of clubs around the school.

“Being my senior year, I hope to set a good example for my underclassmen counterparts and strive to do the most at conferences,” said Sheehan. “My goal is to potentially work on one of the subcommittees, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) or the security council.”

Conferences have multiple sections that students can participate in such that delve more into specialty subjects.

“I’m excited that it’s my senior year but I am going to miss some of the clubs,” said Durning. “Going to clubs and meeting new people will definitely be something that I remember.”

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