Practice makes perfect

Politely arguing, debating, and public speaking are true tests of humanity. Seldom do we naturally encounter these situations–except at Model United Nations.

On Oct. 3, over 30 Norwin students attended Riverview High School’s annual Model United Nations Practice Conference.

Model United Nations(MUN) is a club dedicated to teaching participants about the real-world United Nations. Each conference, students learn the values of a country within the United Nations, discussing solutions to assigned issues with other participants. For the past two years, MUN conferences have been held virtually due to the pandemic. This led student participation to drop compared to years past. In 2020, MUN’s size shrunk due to an inability to attend conferences. Attempting to carry out a MUN conference virtually has its difficulties, namely technology errors.

“COVID hurt all of the clubs,” said club adviser Larissa Sturm. “We are now starting to see a comeback.”

Pushing through the trials of conferences over ZOOM, the club persisted through 2021.

In March of 2022, M.U.N. was back in full swing. Conferences commenced at universities such as Duquesne and Westminster College. Club participation in M.U.N. grew to nearly 25 students. Norwin students grasped ahold of these opportunities, winning numerous accolades and titles such as “Outstanding Delegate.”

Run by the seniors and juniors of the Model United Nations club at Riverview, the conference was purely dedicated to teaching students from the Pittsburgh the strict format and ways of Model UN. This conference was not as ‘high stake’ as other conferences. Awards were not given at the conclusion of the day as they usually would. Instead, the upperclassmen from Riverview guided students on what they did the best and what they can improve on.

“My first Model UN conference was good,” said sophomore Bella Ulery. “At first, I was a little nervous and confused, but the chairs and my partner, Maleah Phetsomphou, did a great job explaining everything.” 

I am looking forward to attending more conferences in the future, especially travel conferences.”

— Bella Ulery

With the confirmation of no virtual conferences happening this school year, MUN plans to attend many large in-person conferences in the coming months. From Oct. 21-23, eight of Norwin’s most experienced club members will travel to the University of Virginia. They will work with hundreds of students from around the country, working to establish viable solutions to real world problems. Later in the month, 20 fellow club members will attend the University of Pittsburgh’s annual conference. This is the first on campus conference the university has hosted in over three years.

Attending Riverview High School’s practice conference was a great experience,” said adviser Larissa Sturm. “It is especially great for all of the students who are just starting to participate in Model United Nations. I’m very excited to see an interest in Model UN again.”