Model UN teaches students about world issues

by Sienna Attema

The countries of Israel and New Zealand were represented by the Model UN teams from PC, whose students had to understand the positions of the two countries in order to make proposals and vote accordingly. “One team of our students needed to have a good understanding of Israel’s position on the  weaponization of drones. They needed to know if Israel was in favor or against and why,” said advisor Joni Van Der Pol.

Senior Eric Qian spearheaded the effort to bring eight PC students to Cedar Falls on April 5 and 6 to participate in the event. The Iowa Model UN is a good program for students who wish to learn more about world issues while hanging out with their friends. “I joined mostly because I was asked to join. I am with friends, and I get to know about the country I am representing,” said senior Antonio Maldonado.

The students who are a part of the Model UN learn about international issues and acquire different types of skills that are important for their school life. “I joined the Model UN because it is a great opportunity to learn about diplomacy, international relation, and speech skills,” said junior Yunqing Xiao.

Van Der Pol considers the Model UN as a worthwhile program. Many life skills are learned during the time spent working on the Model UN. “Students met in large committees to make proposals, debate the positions, vote on resolutions and more. There were many skills in use: public speaking, critical thinking, parliamentary procedure, collaboration between countries, etc,” said Van Der Pol

Students enjoy the Model UN because it is a great way to learn how decisions are made for countries that are a part of the UN. The Model UN students also discussed the intervention in Venezuela, the colonization of Mars, the Libyan slave trade, and the situation with North Korea. “We talk about topics such as gender roles, environmental refugees, and weaponization of the drones which seem to have no influences on our lives, yet affect thousands of people from the other side of the world. It is a very eye-opening experience,” said Xiao.

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