Model UN Explodes With Popularity


Seniors Lucy Renz and Jessica Peterson represented Somalia at the 2016 convention. Photo submitted from yearbook.

Alex Loding, Sports Editor

Red Rage may be the school’s biggest club, as it includes the entire student body, but one particular club has soared in popularity. Model UN, or Model United Nations (of the University of Chicago), has seen huge turnouts of participants in the last few years.

Turn out for the club has soared, and they have had to place students on a wait-list and turn some kids away because they have had such large numbers. Model UN maxes out at 100 members, but this school year, the club reached up to 112 members. It works as a first-come, first-serve deal.

“[The club has gained popularity] especially because we’ve posted about it on social media and [have been] advertising,” explained Stacie Ko, senior co-president. “I feel [Model UN] is a really fun way to meet new people.”

Model UN is run by Stacey Darcy and Andy Hirschman, social studies teachers. The club is also led by four co-presidents: Ko; Alex Frumkin, senior; Victoria Sowa, senior; and Maaz Imam, junior.

Model United Nations is just like it sounds. Students go to meetings throughout the school year to learn about the United Nations and foreign issues and affairs, and then they get to go downtown and participate in a world-wide convention.

Each winter, Model UN takes a trip to the Palmer House in Chicago to participate in a four-day, real-life simulation of an actual United Nations conference. Students in the past have represented countries, such as Russia, Ukraine, Yemen, Zimbabwe and Venezuela. MHS attends the conference with hundreds of other schools from both the U.S. and all over the world.

“We meet so many new people,” said Ko. “Last year we met so many people who lived on the same floor as us. They were transfer students from Germany and other countries.”

Ryan Scott, senior member, shared a similar experience as Ko.

“Last year I met people from all over, including Puerto Rico, China, Mongolia, Norway and many more,” said Scott. “I truly love being able to meet people from all over the world. That is my favorite part because when do you ever get the opportunity to meet people from other countries?”

In preparation for the convention, Model UN hosts meetings at least once a month with more frequent meetings leading up to the convention. Students pair up, are assigned countries to represent and cover certain foreign issues. For example, this year, Ko is discussing disarmament in Zimbabwe.

At meetings, the group divides into smaller groups to focus on specific countries and issues, but once convention time rolls around, the pairs come back together in order to cover all their ideas and topics as a school.

“What makes [Model UN] unique is that although we are one big group,” said Ko, “we all have specific jobs, and we break off but then come together for the convention.”