Model UN Offers Opportunity to Debate Global Issues

By GISELLE CORTEZ

UN-LogoPassionate views on politics and current events are often not welcome in classrooms. If you’re the type of student whose voice dominates a fishbowl, then you most likely know the feeling.

Politically-active students can find a haven on the fourth floor of the Brandeis Campus, where the Model United Nations Club gathers every Thursday after school with students from both Frank McCourt and Global Learning Collaborative.

Mr. Picca, a teacher at the Global Learning Collaborative who describes himself as a “political wonk,” has been running the Model UN Club for 12 years.

“Model UN helps students improve their collaboration skills, public speaking skills, and negotiation and research skills,” said Mr. Picca.

“It gives the students a chance to interact internationally and globally,” he added, referring the Model UN conferences that Brandeis students attend at the University of Virginia, Harvard University, and Washington, D.C.

At conferences, students from Model UN clubs from around the United States and the world gather to discuss political issues and come up with resolutions, in the same fashion as an actual UN conference.

Each Model UN club represents a particular country at these conferences. All students are assigned a different issue and committee, which they discuss and debate from their country’s perspective.

Junior Max Martinez, the Vice President of Model UN, said he felt inspired after attending his first Model United Nations conference at Harvard University.

“Never did I see myself being able to come within 100 feet of Harvard, and now being in such a prestigious place just really boosted my confidence and helped me say to myself, ‘I can do this’,” he said. “It really motivated me, because I was sitting next to the most intelligent people from all over the world.”

Martinez joined Model UN in the beginning of his freshmen year after learning about the club from then sophomore, Adrianna Mouzouras. He saw the club as an opportunity to meet new people and develop his interest in debate.

“Students should join Model UN because it’s something everyone should experience at least once,” he said. “It helps with many skills, such as social skills and public speaking.”

According to Martinez, Model UN is looking for new members who share a passion for debate and politics, or for those who are looking to improve their public speaking and collaboration skills.

“It’s a great way to meet new people and put yourself ahead of the game. Students should join Model UN because it’s something everyone should experience at least once.”

If you’re interested in joining the Model UN Club, talk to Max Martinez, Giselle Cortez, or Nicole Guimaraes.