Model U.N. at Lehigh
By Melissa Collins ’13
While students were away on spring
break, Lehigh University welcomed
local high school students to campus
to participate in its annual Lehigh
Valley Interscholastic Athletic
Conference Model United Nations
competition. The event was sponsored
by the LU/UN Partnership at Lehigh.
Lehigh has been hosting high school students for Model U.N. conferences annually for about 10 years, Mike Flynn said.
Flynn, organizer of conference, noted that about 350 students from Emmaus, Parkland, Nazareth Area, Whitehall, Easton Area, Central Catholic, Belvidere high schools and East Stroudsburg High School South participated in the event. Flynn is also the advisor to the Emmaus High School team.
“Our Secretary Generals for this year were senior Aliraza Soonasra and junior Marc Primello,” Flynn said. “The event begins with an opening ceremony in Packard Auditorium. Dr. [William] Hunter was the keynote speaker. Then we proceed to Rauch Business Center and move to one of nine rooms. Each room is a committee, for example Security Council, General Assembly, Environmental, Committee on Women and Children, Disarmament and International Security, Economic and Financial, World Health Organization and two [others].”
In the committees, the students, who represent various countries depending on their school, debate pre-written resolutions, Flynn said. Each school has a set of chairpersons, who are predetermined at the beginning of the event. Those students choose the best debaters from each committee who will then receive awards at the closing ceremony in Packard Lab.
“Students often have great experiences at the Model U.N.,” Flynn said. “It allows them to take on the persona of a person from a different country and argue from that point of view. It also gives them a forum to debate logically.”
The Model United Nations conferences allow students to be analytical of global issues, as well as critical of possible resolutions. By debating various viewpoints, the students gain insight into how the U.N. really works and allows them to communicate their ideas to others. It is through the Model U.N. conferences that many students harbor leadership and communication skills that they can help them gain success in the real world.
Student participants from Easton Area High School won the conference, earning free registration to Lehigh's United Nations Academic Impact Conference on Friday, March 23. The second place winners were from Central Catholic High School, and they were awarded a chance to meet the Ambassador from Nauru, who will be visiting Lehigh on April 5.