Club Spotlight: The Resurrection of MA Model UN

MA Model UN is back!

MA Model UN is back!

Finn D. '24

Club Profile:

  • Club Name: Model United Nations

  • Leaders: Reyna N. ‘23 and Justin G. ‘23

  • Faculty Advisor: Candace Chen

  • Mission: “The intended purpose of MUN is for students to gain an awareness of the world around them, as well as improve their public speaking and debate skills,” says Reyna N. ‘23

When asked to think of high school clubs, a common response is Model UN, also known as Model United Nations. A long-time popular and iconic extracurricular among high schoolers, Model UN is a simulation of the UN General Assembly, where students debate current issues ranging from the climate crisis to global health.

In the recent history of MA, Model UN had a reputation of being a relatively robust and widely attended club; however in the past few years, the club “kind of died out [at MA],” according to Reyna N. ‘23, one of MA Model UN’s new leaders, alongside Justin G. ‘23.

As is the pattern of a four-year, grades 9-12 system, clubs too graduate in a sense alongside their high school leaders—and MA Model UN succumbed to this cycle. But thanks to Reyna N. ‘23, Justin G. ‘23, and faculty advisor plus history department chair Candace Chen’s guidance, their dedication and ambition to ensure Model UN and its potential opportunities have a spot in the MA club-organization roster have been successful—leading to the club’s resurrection in early 2022.

Reyna N. ‘23 and Justin G. ‘23’s passion for public debate started in the 6th and 7th grade when they met “at an outside-of-school MUN club” Reyna N. ‘23 said in an interview. And because the two “both enjoyed [their] experience” with Model UN, and had significant experience “in the actual content” of a mock debate they “wanted to share it with MA,” shares Reyna N. ‘23.

Reyna N. ’23, One of the Leaders of MA Model UN

As goes with the start of most clubs and organizations, there is usually significant work, time, and energy that goes into the process of getting the ball rolling—nevertheless, imagination coupled with effective effort yields a satisfying and rewarding result. This method remains true for Justin G. ‘23 and Reyna N. ‘23 who say, “It has been an amazing experience leading MUN so far . . . [and] somewhat challenging . . . it is very rewarding to see all of our delegates show up and put effort into their assignments.”

In just a few months Reyna N. ‘23 and Justin G. ‘23 have already, despite the “challenge coordinating . . . conferences,” attended a robust weekend-long event with their MA delegates at UC Berkeley, highlighting the club’s bright future for next year. Typical conferences at large universities like UC Berkeley usually host between 800 and 1500 students—and are made up of many different high school clubs, some traveling from far-away cities and towns. Conferences are essentially large-scale mock UN debates where students are assigned specific roles such as a representative of a country, organization, or person, and are tasked with solving a problem with other delegates. Reyna N. ‘23 was on “the Haiti Crisis Committee,” which she says “was super interesting and action-packed.”

UC Berkeley Model UN Conference in the Past.

Although the club did not stay overnight, as many Model UN clubs do, the whole group “showed up and stayed the full length of each day,” says Reyna N. ‘23. The event was successful and serves as a good experience to better prepare the club for next school year’s debate season.

Model UN is a great opportunity for students to not only get perspective on what a career as a politician or senator may look like but get actual practice, useful to informing student’s possible career interests in the future. Additionally, Model UN gives students the chance to build connections with people you wouldn’t necessarily otherwise, like peers from different high schools, counties, and cultures.

To Reyna N. ‘23, “MUN is what you make it. It all just depends on what you want to do, and how much effort you’re willing to put into it.” Reyna N. ‘23 and Justin N. ‘23 invite prospective students and their voices to join MA Model UN and will gladly answer questions via email.

For students interested Reyna N. ‘23 says to just “show up to [their] meetings!” Keep your eyes out for Justin R. ‘23 and their emails, as they reach out to the whole school regularly with info about meeting times, and potential conference opportunities Additionally, Reyna N. ‘23 says “you can reach out to our wonderful faculty advisor, Candace Chen.”