Model United Nations Plays To Win

In 2006, Ames High’s Model United Nations team returned home with the mild feeling of accomplishment that so often accompanies activities in which there are no winners…never to return. UNTIL NOW. Junior chairs Sara Diressova and Naomi Peterson have breathed new life into this defunct club under the leadership of sociology teacher Chad Zmolek. “In Model UN, students role-play as delegates from different countries in a simulated session of the UN,” co-chair Sara Diressova said. “Delegates from each country sit on committees that discuss specific issues. The committees range from the Economic and Social Committee to the International Court of Justice.” To prepare for competition, fresh-faced diplomats of tomorrow research their topics and write a position paper stating the views of their country with the hopes of someday passing a resolution that reflects its interests. Then, the fun begins. “There’s a lot of room for creativity in Model UN,” Diressova said. “It’s definitely not as dry as it might seem.” At competition, students participate in intense debate and try to reach a compromise. “The goal is to represent the countries accurately, and many countries can be…unpredictable.” Other MUN members agree. “Weird stuff can happen,” sophomore Ray Peterson said. “Somalia declares itself the master race? All in a day’s work for us athletes of the mind.” Ames High’s first UN simulation will be at the annual Spring Conference in Cedar Falls, April 18–19, where students will put real United Nations parliamentary procedure into action. Continuing the rebellious tradition of AHSMUN1.0, the team has favored countries that oppose most Western powers. “We have secured Iran,” Gilbert senior Umar Farooq said. “I’m going to work harder at Model UN than anything else this year!!!!” he said with no fewer than four exclamation points. As Peterson aptly put it: “If you’re into dress up, foreign affairs, bagels or political science, we’re a lot of fun.”