BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Imagine this: you are Jefferson Davis, leader of the confederate America during the civil war. You and your entire team try to stop the north from taking away your given right of slaves, by building up your army, and attacking all of the north’s main cities, taking over more and more territory. Your battle becomes so heated that you eventually kidnap Lincoln and cut off his middle finger (Not literally). The north sends suicide bombers into an already captured location in the south in an attempt to decimate the city. This faulty move causes the north to lose the war and you, as the south, win. All within a five hour period in one day. It sounds impossible doesn’t it? But nothing is impossible at Model United Nations, especially GLMUN, where our own club hosted their own conference on the Civil War. Here, delegates re-imagine current and past world issues, coming to a resolution for all these problems and maybe even changing the course of history in one high school classroom.
Model UN is where high-schoolers run the world. Placed in three different types of committees, delegates represent various parts of the United Nations. First, there’s the general assemblies (GA’s), where the delegates are a part of huge committees: Disarmament and International Security (DISEC), Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN), Social, Cultural, and Humanitarian Committee (SOCHUM), Special Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL) and more.
Next, there are specialized committees, where delegates may not necessarily be in one of the UN’s committees, but rather smaller congregations, such as the women’s rights committee, international Olympic committee, or even the US senate.
Last, the fan favorite is historical security councils or rebel meetings, all part of the crisis committees. These have the power to do almost anything, even cutting off Lincoln’s middle finger, which happened last year. Model UN advisor, Mrs. Jacqueline Hudacko, describes the conferences as “ultimate performance tasks. In fact you need to take all these skills and the knowledge you learned and try and actually use them in a setting where we can use the debate skills.”
And Model UN is more than just solving world issues. It’s also about teamwork, debate, and learning from others. At conferences, everyone is passionate about these current world issues. Every year, the Model UN team attends two conferences, Academy Model UN and Seton Hall University Model UN. In January of 2017, the Model UN team achieved the highest honor at AMUN, earning the title of best delegation. Over the years, the team kept achieving high awards, with multiple people winning individual awards.
Both presidents of Model UN have high hopes for themselves, as well as the club as a whole. Co-President of Governor Livingston’s chapter of Model UN, Daniel Blischok described Model UN as “a great opportunity to exercise diplomatic skills. I hope that our team can win a best delegation award this year.” Co-President Christopher Schmedel also hopes to continue the legacy of past year by going “to two conferences, having some fun and and hopefully come home with a few awards.”
The Governor Livingston team is full of passionate, hardworking individuals, with old and new members, ready to defend the title that the Model UN team won two years ago. Overall, Model UN is a place to meet new people, to enhance debate skills, and become a better person in a teamwork setting. Model UN has a place for everyone, no matter what you want to gain out of a conference and the experience.
Editor's Note: The Highlander is the student newspaper of Gov. Livingston High School featuring articles written by staff and guest writers covering a variety of topics of interest to the students.