Model UN

Saish Satyal, Editor

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Model UN is the hottest new club in Cistercian, and it is mind-blowing.  It provides students an excellent opportunity to learn about new countries and to propose solutions to many of the problems facing the world today.  A recent conference, the Dallas Area Model UN, presented students with a wide array of issues from the rebuilding of the United States after 9/11 to the problem of Somali piracy in the Indian Ocean.  Each of our student participants was able to create his own solutions to these problems and eloquently write and present his proposals.  One of the great benefits of Model UN is the new level of international awareness and understanding that it brings to our school.  While many Cistercian students are knowledgeable about the domestic issues of our nation, students do not know enough when it comes to foreign policy.  For example, when polling a group of twenty people from across the high school, only eight knew that Canada had already held their national elections and that the liberal government had triumphed once again with Trudeau at the head.  By joining Model UN, students will be able to expand their horizons and learn a lot about different crises that face the world, like the revolution unfolding in Hong Kong.  This club also hones the critical-thinking skills of the students who participate and, with new challenges being thrown at them constantly, it is a great way to learn crisis management as well.

A great example of this is my committee at the Dallas Area Model UN Conference, the Crisis Committee, which handled the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the USA.  I was the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development at the time, Mel Martinez.  In doing my research for the conference, I learned about the United States’ general disaster response policies as well as the block grant that the HUD gave to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to rebuild Manhattan and stimulate the economy of the local area after the attack.  My preparation allowed me to be confident and to know what I was talking about and introduce multiple resolutions and directives.

The beginning of our committee started at the point in time right after the plane hit the South Tower, back when it was assumed that this was an accident.  As the day went on, the conference gradually evolved for us and devolved for the moderators into something that I thought was glorious.  The moderators tried to create new, innovative crises for us to find creative solutions to.  However, in an effort to end the committee early, we introduced (and passed) a directive that violated every American’s 4th Amendment rights.  Of course, once we realized we were able to pass blatantly unconstitutional directives, things got out of control.  I won’t go into too great detail, but the day ended with President Cheney and his cabinet passing multiple tax breaks, rebuilding lower Manhattan, toppling terrorist organizations, building Freedom Tower, razing Trump Tower, and building Cheney Tower 2: Electric Boogaloo in its place.  It was slightly comforting to know that we were tame compared to those in the UN Security Council who experienced the rise of the Second French Empire while trying to solve the problem of aggressive Somalian pirates.  I think it was rather fitting that Cistercian’s first Model UN conference ended with our students changing the structure of the world in an extremely chaotic way.

Even in our most recent conference at Westlake Academy, the day started off with Cistercian students trying to deal with the Crisis in Kashmir and the growing Crisis in Venezuela.  Everything seemed to be going smoothly until at 11:55 AM, the United States invaded Venezuela and at 12:03 PM, the Venezuelan Cabinet officially declared war on the United States.  Of course, the war didn’t bode well for Venezuela.  With the initial element of surprise, our cabinet was able to call airstrikes on key oilfields in Texas, Alaska, and California to cripple the US war effort.  However, in retaliation, the USA bombed our official government buildings.  The USA also launched a ground invasion into Venezuela and almost invaded the capital city of Caracas. As many delegates in my committee called for peace talks with the United States, I called for an escalation of war efforts.  As Patrick Henry said, ‘Give me Liberty or give me Death!”  The day ended with China making an alliance with Venezuela and somehow taking over the entire world, except for the Indian subcontinent.  The day also ended with every single one of our Cistercian delegates getting an award.

Technically, there isn’t a way to “win” a Model UN conference; however, making sure that every one of delegates got an award counts as a total victory in my book.  The best part is that this club is not just for those who like to speak, argue, and debate.  It is for anyone that wants to learn more about the world and help solve the world’s problems.  The conference was legitimately one of the most fun things I’ve ever attended and I was able to learn so much at the same time, which I did not expect.  I highly recommend the club to anyone willing to put in the work, which is not even that much.  Anyone who wants to go to conferences is allowed to go, and the only requirements are to be somewhat dedicated and to show up to the weekly Friday practices in the library from 2:45 to 4:30. Come join us!

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