Model U.N. organization engages students in world debate

by Annika Terpstra /

Model UN, led by adviser Joni Van Der Pol, is teaching students a variety of skills such as critical thinking, debating, and being an ambassador of a country. “I think it’s important for students to be engaged with what is going on in the world and be able to view it from a Biblical worldview. God-fearing people are needed in positions of leadership in government, so perhaps God will use this club to ignite interest in serving Him in that area,” Van Der Pol said.

The Model United Nations organization meets monthly at PC and is learning about how to represent a country and its views on current events and parliamentary procedures. According to Van Der Pol, eight to twelve students are currently interested and attending the meetings. “We are open to more!” Van Der Pol said.

Van Der Pol was interested in sponsoring Model UN for several reasons. “It’s a unique extracurricular activity for students who are interested in global issues. It’s an academic club in which students use critical thinking skills, presentational and debate skills and have fun role playing being an ambassador/representative of a country,” she said.

Although the number of PC students involved may seem small, over 400,000 students are involved nationwide. Senior president Roger Gao is a key leader for the group. One thing I enjoy about Model U.N. would be the debate part. You get to attend a three-section debate, and each section lasts about 3-5 hours. During that time period, you debate about two political topics. It’s a good time to meet new people, to see the how to debate and learn about modern political issues,” Gao said.

The team of students are preparing for the Iowa Model UN convention which takes place in early April at the University of Northern Iowa. As they head into 2020, they will begin to meet more frequently.

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