Model UN Online Conference

Model UN Online Conference

Kristen Sheng, Outreach Director

On top of school being adapted in order to offer students a safe education, extracurricular activities have adjusted how they run. Model United Nations is a prominent club at Fairview and across the country. Model UN allows students to simulate the real United Nations by assigning each student a country so they can debate about specific world issues. In a normal year, around once a month, hundreds of students in Model UN from all over Colorado come together to a host school in order to debate. Students are put into different groups depending on their level of competition, and their goal is to draft resolutions so that students, acting as their assigned countries, can vote on them.


“This process takes a long time and, in the more advanced councils, it often takes the whole day to reach the point where we vote on the proposed resolutions written by nations with oftentimes contrasting opinions,” said senior Elisa Woodham, who is the Secretary General of Model UN. 


This year, Model UN conferences are being held over Zoom. Many members of the club were able to find positive aspects despite the challenging shift in how conferences are taking place. 


Junior Gavin Outlaw, who has been in the club since his freshman year said, “With being online, technology has been helpful when it comes to writing […] I find it more organized and efficient.”


“[An] advantage is that you can easily fact-check and, in general, use the internet as a tool,” said senior Gabe Butler, who is the club’s secretary.


Unfortunately, there are evident challenges that Model UN students face with adapting to the new format.


“Communicating with my partner was kind of difficult, and we had to do it by texting each other during the conference, which was hard to manage and coordinate,” said freshman Olaya Garcia-Grau. 


Outlaw said, “A big part of MUN is how you portray yourself, your presence in the room during the council, etc. It’s really hard to portray that online, especially since that is a very big part of how you are scored.”


In the end, in person or online, Model UN members are thankful to be a part of a club that has taught them many real-world skills.


“Model UN has taught me to be better at public speaking, communication, and collaboration […] The purpose of Model UN is a group of strangers (most of the time) are trying to work together to reach a solution to a problem […] with the hope of achieving peace,” said Butler.

Similarly, Woodham said, “I have learned loads from Model UN, specifically improving my speaking skills, my ability to collaborate with others and find common ground with those who have vastly different ideas or opinions […] MUN really teaches important skills that helps everyone involved become a more educated global citizen and a more creative problem solver.”