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Model UN

Vasili Brouzoukis, Co-Editor in Chief

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The number of clubs in Providence High School is high, but also dynamic. Every year, there are proposals for the founding of new clubs while some old ones tend to die out. Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, was such a club. It went through a period of inactivity during 2014 and it was not until the fall of 2015 that Model UN reappeared on the grid.

The adviser of the Model UN chapter of Providence is Michael Stowers from the social studies department. Stowers has been the adviser of Model UN for almost 10 years. “It had not been a club for long before I started,” Stowers says. The current club president is senior Bryson Getz and also co-president of the German Club, and the vice president is Graham Durri, a junior.

Model UN is not just a school club but also an international organization. There are several chapters around the globe with a plethora of conferences taking place all year long.  These conferences feature academic competitions in which students can learn about diplomacy, international relations and the United Nations. Model UN involves researching, public speaking, debating and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork and leadership abilities.

Participants in Model UN conferences, known as delegates, are placed in committees and assigned countries, or occasionally other organizations or political figures, where they represent members of that body.  “In some of these committees, you may have as many delegates as there are countries,” Stowers adds. There are also historical committees that are almost exact replicas of committees that took place in the past. For example, there was a historical committee some years ago about the Oregon Trail. The participants were given a real person, and they had to “play the role” by imitating their assigned individual. “The students debate these different scenarios that come along. The only difference is that there are certain guidelines,” Stowers says.

Providence’s Model UN is mostly participating in conferences that take place in North Carolina. “We usually try to attend at least two or three conferences per year,” Durri adds. They attended their first conference in UNC Charlotte in fall, and at the end of February they attended the annual Model UN conference at Chapel Hill. “We have a good team, better than many other schools of the area,” Durri says. Even though the club doesn’t have major awards under their belt, they usually get nominated for some. “We almost always get contested for best dressed,” Getz says.

Appearance is a significant part of each competition. There is an actual dress code for Model UN conferences throughout the globe. “Model UN conferences require delegates to wear Western business attire,” Durri adds. Dressing professionally is considered as an important way to show respect for the nation, organization or individual one is representing, as well as for the rest of one’s committee.

          The club has open registration, so everyone can join at any point. There are no fees or required teacher recommendations. “We make it really easy to join Model UN,” Stowers says. A welcoming environment for any student interested, Model UN is open to everyone. “Just come and join the club,” Getz says.

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Model UN