What is Model United Nations


Chloe Smith, Staff Writer

What is Model UN? Why is it important? Why should I care? These are questions that I  asked before I stepped into that committee room at Northwestern University in Illinois. Model United Nations is a club where students assume the role of a delegate for a country or act as a person and try to solve current real-world problems. It is a great place to show off your smarts and develop writing, teamwork, speaking , and leadership skills. Model UN becomes your second family. Many people join to have a sense of togetherness and belonging, as well as having a place where they fit in. Model UN is a place where you can have your voice heard.

 Last year, I joined the Cambridge Isanti Model UN team to help kill some of my free time. It gave me the opportunity to show off my smarts and my not so smarts. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Mr. Woodbury, the advisor, recruited me right before a one-day conference and asked me if I would compete in it. I told him yes and had about 2 weeks to figure out what the heck I was doing. Everyone was so supportive, helpful, and patient when it came to me learning about Model UN. Especially when it came to preparing for the one-day conference.

In Model UN we spend the season preparing for an out of state conference in Chicago called MUNUC. The purpose of the conference is to work together as a team with the other delegates and use your knowledge to solve problems. You are also trying to win a national award. Winning a national award is basically every Model UN’ers dream, because we all wanna go down in history like Rudolph the red nosed reindeer.

 Last year, a week before we were supposed to leave for Chicago to compete in-person at the conference, the head council for MUNUC sent out an email saying that “the conference would be virtual because of COVID.” This news was heartbreaking. All of us were angry and in shock. Our team went on to compete virtually, we wanted to emphasize that we don’t quit. Our team has been through a heck of a lot of ups and down, so quitting wasn’t an option. In the end, the hard work paid off. We won 4 national awards out of  75! There were around 1,000 people who competed at virtual MUNUC. The fact that Cambridge-Isanti Highschool, a small town school from Minnesota, won 4 national awards is astonishing. Just to think, COVID had almost broken our Model UN 2020 season with only having under 20 people on the team. Now our numbers have almost doubled, and we are still looking for more!

After MUNUC we got invited to compete at the University of Northwestern in Illinois. It was so refreshing to know that we would be competing in person at a conference. We spent two and a half months preparing and getting ready to compete at the last conference of the season. It was a lot of long nights and long practices. Yes, I am not gonna lie, it’s stressful. You’re in a committee room with either a little amount of people or a heck of alot. When it comes to speaking in front of people it seems like no matter how many times you have done it, it always feels like the first time. Your nerves and anxieties are amplified, and once you give that speech you look back and feel a sense of pride and relief. For me, I had a great experience in my committee. I had a partner for the first time which made committee a lot more smoother by being able to have two people working the room getting our opinions out there as well as having another brain to work with. However, the committee is no joke. It is fast paced, and if you leave for one minute it feels like you’re gone for ten. I wouldn’t change anything about my experience. The adrenaline, the stress, and the long nights make everything worth it. Knowing that I was competing against kids who have been doing it for years, and I walked in as a newbie beating them. It’s one of the best feelings in the world. Model UN gave me a new perspective on life. It gave me more friends and a family. A family that cares for you and is there for everything. Knowing that I was challenging myself and trying things I had never done before makes me proud of myself. Model UN gave me that feeling. And I just gotta say, I love being a nerd. #NERD HERD