Model U.N. Draws Massive Turnout at Club Fair


On September 22, 31 clubs gathered sign-ups at the quad to collect signups, and among them was Model United Nations Club, a high-flying club with 75 new members and counting, according to Ben Carlan, Co-President of the club.

Founded in 2016, MUN club attended its first conference in 2017, according to Andrew Syfu, the Middle School Dean and History and Global Studies teacher.

Anita Hua, a four-year senior and member of the MUN Club, explained that the club is about learning how to debate within the topic of international relations. At General Assembly, delegates from the club discuss real current issues and come up with a unilateral solution with group of countries.

The highlight of participating in MUN conferences is the Moderated Caucus, a form of formal debate among the general committee, mentioned Anita. At this discussion, delegates publicly present their stance on the topic issue as the representative of a country.

Syfu spoke to The Willistonian about the surge in interest in MUN this year.

“I think it is seen as more and more important to understand what is going on in the world and see perspectives outside of our own communities,” Syfu said. “Seeing that we have students from all over the world encourages people to want to know what the world is like and how the world functions.”

A 2011 article by Mike Sheehan and Helen Brocklehurst in The Independent held a similar opinion. “It was said a few years ago that if the human race is wiped out in the next 50 years it will not be because of disease or an asteroid hitting the earth, but because of foreign policy and international relations. In a world where thousands of nuclear weapons exist and more countries are trying to acquire them, where suicide terrorist strikes come without warning and thousands die each day from poverty caused by the way the international system operates, we need to know about and understand international relations.”

After a strange and disruptive last year, during which all conferences were either canceled or held online, the club is hopeful for a “normal” beginning with new members.

“I could not get used to discussions on-screen and switching between break-out rooms to make an agreement with other delegates on the resolution,” said Co-President Ben Carlan. “I felt distant from the participants … it lacked a sense of reality.

Anita is hopeful this year in MUN will be back to what she remembers.

“I am very excited to see how conferences are switching from virtual to in-person,” she said.

Alongside representing the Model UN club, Anita runs the Williston Math Team and she hopes to partially hold some activities in person.

“For some events I hope to make them in person, but a lot of math competitions are online already so I think they [WNS girls competitions] will stay online but I hope the competitions like Harvard-MIT competitions [Harvard-MIT Math Tournament] or the Yale girls competition [Girls in Math at Yale] can be in person because attending math competitions is about meeting all the people and discussing different perspectives,” she explained.