Unraveling the Issues

Students participate in new club, debate global issues

Hope Brown, Features Editor

Although heated discussions are commonly associated with a debate class or a socratic seminar, a new club at Blue Valley promotes deliberation over prominent problems in the world.

This year, sophomore Christian Hansen assisted in founding Model United Nations club.

“I helped start the club and wanted to be president because I have [participated in] Model UN in the past for other schools and really enjoyed the activity,” Hansen said. “It is very fun for those who like to discuss issues occurring around the globe, and you can meet great people.”

Senior Emily Bridges is a member and said the club splits into groups representing different countries.

“They try to resolve issues within the world — like coming up with new solutions they could present,” Bridges said. “They take on the country’s identity and its problems and try to find solutions for it.”

Before moving on to real-world issues, Model UN first practiced negotiating and compromising with imaginary countries, Bridges said.

“They started out with a fake area with many different countries,” she said. “They all had their own problems, but they had resources and benefits. A few weeks ago, they [moved] on to real countries with real problems.”

In the competition with the fake countries, the winning team secured the right to choose a real country’s identity first.

“They didn’t put the United States as an option,” Bridges said. “We know what’s going on, and you need to be able to take on different countries’ perspectives on issues. You already have the American perspective on it.”

Conferences consist of teams from different schools representing countries. The teams make resolutions for problems and discuss modern issues that are occurring, Hansen said.

“We debate about anything and everything that is a rising issue in the world, and each conference focuses on certain issues,” he said. “The upcoming Wichita conference has two main topics to discuss. The first is the prohibitions of chemical weapons, and the second is the protection of migrants around the globe.”

Hansen said Model UN is a unique opportunity offering members the chance to engage in prominent issues affecting the world today.

“[Model UN] is unlike debate or any other speaking events because there is no single winner, and many people can succeed in the activity,” he said. “It is overall more relaxing, and there is a lot more critical thinking time.”Model UN Infographic