BY ESTHER SHITTU
The Model United Nations class of Hillcrest High School walked away with three Honorable Mentions at the Global Classrooms International Model United Nations Conference this past May.
The advisor of MUNCH, Kevin Shult, said that the students begin prepping for both local and international conferences the first day of school.
“I show them a 20 minute documentary that was done by John Adams called Decorum UNAUSA,” Shult said. “It shows the kids what the conference is all about. I really want them to see what the end goal is.”
After showing them their goal, Shult then invites each student to write what they believe their weaknesses are and what their strengths are. It is from what the students write that Shult then begins to challenge them. If a student believes that he or she is weak in the area of public speaking, Shult asks them the second week of school to give a speech in class.
“My goal is to improve their weakness and make it stronger,” Shult said.
From that first day, the students learn the history of the United Nations; they learn what the UN is all about, what they do and about global policy. The students also learn life essential skills, such as public speaking and research.
“All of these skills are used to represent the cause, learn about the path, form a position and work with other countries to make a resolution. we deal with real life,” Shult said.
For the conferences, the students represent a country that they do extensive research on and the decisions the country has made in the past concerning their topics. Once the research is done, the students then have to write a position paper, where they introduce their topic and the resolution they have to the topic. In class, students practice their speeches, what they believe their opponents will say and the rebuttals they have to their opponents.
Shult said the students are paired up into delegates, who work together to solve a number of problems for the country and to create a resolution. This allow them to learn about teambuilding, collaborating and negotiating.
The conferences are run by Dais. Shult said that the international conferences, such as the Global Classroom International Conference, are run by college students. The Dais presents a rubric which judges each student on their position paper, public speaking skills and how professional they were in their negotiations.
At this year’s conference, MUNCH did something they have never done before by winning three awards. Seniors Ravina Kumar and Japneet Kaur represented Indonesia and won Honorable Mention-Best Delegation in the UN Women Committee. Juniors Mah Noor and Arpita Tahsin represented Indonesia and won Honorable Mention-Best Delegation in the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Sophomore Sunpreet Singh represented Indonesia by himself and won Honorable Mention-Best Delegation in the World Health Organization.
MUNCH plans on creating its own conference, which it plans on inviting 250 to 400 high school students. He says his students began practice for this conference, which is set to happen in December 2014, in May.
He also said the class makes him and his students more globally aware. Some of his students have gone on to greater endeavors beyond the class such as creating Non-Government Organizations (NGO), working to fund a local school in Morocco.
“The kids are awesome, the seniors who are graduating want to come back,” Shult said. “I’m really lucky to have [MUNCH]. it makes me a better person, I am more globally aware, I am more globally conscious. I try to take what I learned from my UN class to my other classes.”