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Niles West Model UN: Year in Review

Members+of+the+Niles+West+Model+United+Nations+delegation+meet+with+the+Consulate-General+of+South+Africa.
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Niles West Model UN: Year in Review

Members of the Niles West Model United Nations delegation meet with the Consulate-General of South Africa.

Members of the Niles West Model United Nations delegation meet with the Consulate-General of South Africa.

Members of the Niles West Model United Nations delegation meet with the Consulate-General of South Africa.

Members of the Niles West Model United Nations delegation meet with the Consulate-General of South Africa.

By Wyatt Zwik, Staff Writer

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The Niles West Model United Nations team finished off their season at the Northwestern University Model UN conference, which took place from April 12 -15.

In Model United Nations, students represent the various committees of the United Nations, such as the General Assembly or Disarmament and International Security Committee or the Security Council. The committees range from topics such as the refugee crisis, climate change, or nuclear weapons.

The Niles West Model United Nations had an exciting year, traveling to a variety of universities across the Midwest. The team took delegations to the Washington University Model UN Symposium, the Chicago International Model UN, and Model UN University of Michigan Ann-Arbor.

Members learned a lot of skills valuable to student and general life throughout this past season, according to junior Umar Ahmed.

“This year went pretty well, granted it was my first time doing Model UN,” Ahmed said. “I saw that there was a lot of new people who joined this year that had relative success. A lot of people put in a lot of research and effort, and I feel that ended paying off on how they performed in committee. A lot of people came out with skills they can use in the real world such as public speaking, a lot more people are comfortable doing as such. They also learned a lot more about various topic areas. In terms of just actual fun, I thought it was a very enjoyable experience.”

This past conference at Northwestern University was senior Darby Chamness’s last as a high school student. Being a member of the Model UN team has given Chamness a variety of great experiences, such as public speaking and debating politics on a larger scale.

“It was great. Model UN has been one of those things that have really impacted me as I’ve gone through high school, even though I only discovered it in my junior year,” Chamness said. “It’s been one of those things that have allowed me to get over a lot of my fears about public speaking and coming up with stuff to stay on the fly in certain situations. Being able to really work collaboratively with a big group of people on international politics, which is super hard to do. I’m really glad I got to go to this last one, I was in a really cool committee, and it was great.”

The team’s main goal for next year is to expand since many members will be graduating next year.

“For next year I hope to see the team expand granted that a lot of the people this year are juniors. The majority of the team will be graduating next year,” Ahmed said. “It’s just such a good experience, and the clubs pretty small and not that many people know about it since there previously hasn’t been that much outreach. So hopefully next year we can expand on that, by having a table at activities night and have a much large team.”

Club sponsor Neil Koreman believes the team learned a lot this past season and hopes to expand on their newfound experience next year.

“I think the year was awesome, I think we have great kids who had great experiences. The opportunity to learn to lead through consensus is something that the youth movement really needs,” Koreman said. “Next year, we hope to expand opportunity for all students with one-day conferences, and we’re also looking at some international travel coming up.”

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