Students to Compete at Model UN


Art by Julia Montgomery

Sophomore Julia Montgomery paints an original art piece of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Russia. Montgomery will compete in the Model UN competition on January 24 and 25.

Kylie Hester, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Students will attend a Model United Nations (MUN) competition at Region 7 Educational Service Center in Kilgore Jan. 24 and 25. At the competition, students act as representatives from different countries recognized by the United Nations and vote on various resolutions.

“Coaching Model UN is always an incredible experience,” coach Lisa Vader said. “For many this is one of the largest research projects they have tackled in their school career, and I love helping them learn to bring all of their hard work together into a successful final product.”

          MUN is an entirely student-led activity. Only students who are a part of the  Gifted and Talented (GT) can participate. Students in the GT program start MUN in junior high as part of their class work, but after junior high MUN is optional in high school.

           “I enjoy working with the high school because they are seasoned pros at MUN and are doing it because they truly love it and not because it is an assignment,” Vader said. “My high school students have matured so much in their ideas about the world and how they can play a part in it, and that is fascinating to watch.”

            Each delegation is usually made up of four to five delegates, and each student chooses a committee to represent, with the exception of Security Council. The different committees are the Food and Agriculture Organization, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, The United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and the United Nations Children’s Fund. Students will break out into their different committee rooms on the first day and vote on resolutions they individually wrote over problems relevant to their country and committee. Every resolution passed the first day will then be read and voted on by the General Assembly the next day, which is every delegate in the same room.

             “Throughout most of my school career, MUN has been an activity that I have done more than any other,” senior Vivian Lehmann said. “It’s very bittersweet to be ending that tradition, but I am proud of my achievements and satisfied with the lessons I have learned from it.”          

             Security Council students are still part of their delegation and still represent a country, but do not write resolutions and do not participate in committee rooms. Instead, all Security Council students will meet together and be given various scenarios to solve and vote upon  in real time according to their country’s laws and standards. They engage in scenarios that require quick thinking and strategizing, and go into the competition with no prior knowledge of what they will be discussing. 

             “Competing in anything for the last time as a senior is always bittersweet, but I will especially miss Security Council,” senior Gavin James said. “I owe much of my success in high school to my roots in MUN, and for that I am forever grateful.”

            There are multiple leadership positions in MUN including the Secretary General, who leads the entire General Assembly, Under-Secretaries, the Sergeant-in-Arms, and committee chairs.

          “I’m very excited to do MUN as a committee chair,” junior Lauren Van Andel said. “Last year we were virtual, and although it was still run exceptionally well despite all that had to be worked around, there is nothing better than being back in person. I’m ready to lead my assigned committee in a way that all participants are able to feel confident and learn from one another.”

          Along with resolution writing, delegates also create various projects in order to be considered for the award of Overall Best Delegation. Projects that can be submitted are collages, maps, digital documentary/multimedia presentation/PSAs, or an original work of art. Along with projects, all delegations must compete in the impromptu resolution writing portion of the competition on the first day. Every delegate competes, even Security Council. For this, the entire General Assembly will be given a problem and will then work together in their delegations to hand write a resolution within 45 minutes. The impromptu will also be considered in scoring for Overall Best Delegation.

          “It truly is a project that makes a lasting difference in the education of my students,” Vader said. “It is an honor for me to watch them grow in so many ways through this experience.”