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Model Students

Posted 11/17/2015 by Lucy Peterson

Model U.N. club members, from left to right: Arwah Ahmed, Lumiere Sidonie, Rebekah Yohannes, Ariadne Katsaris, sponsor Garien Behling, Leo Busse, and Josh Raykin. photo by Lucy Peterson

The new Model United Nations Club aims to aid TJ students in public speaking and boost their confidence by debating real world problems.

Model United Nations (Model U.N.) is a new club that was formed by Thomas Jefferson High School’s Spartans who are interested in debating and learning about the world around them. Model U.N. was formed with the intent to increase students’ skills in debate, public speaking, and teamwork, as well as informing the members of current events in the world. The club was started by sophomores Leora Busse, Rebekah Yohannes, Arwah Ahmed, and Ariadne Katsaris. TJ’s new U.S. History teacher Garien Behling excitedly took on the task of sponsoring the new club.

During meetings, students practice for conferences that are modeled after authentic U.N. meetings; at the conferences, groups are assigned countries by the host school and are to represent these countries in the simulated U.N. meetings. To practice this, the group decides on a country and assesses that country’s real world problems, as well as discusses these issues and creates solutions to help solve these problems. There is no official winner at these conferences, but some schools can perform better than others. Co-president Yohannes explained, “We are going to be attending two conferences this year. These conferences are held at local universities and will help us prepare for an out of state conference next year.” Because this club has just been formed, and due to a lack of funding, they will only be attending conferences in state; however, they hope to attend out of state conferences by next year. In the future they hope to attend the prestigious New York Conference, an annual Model U.N. conference housing hundreds of students from around the world who enjoy the environment and purpose of the Model U.N. club.

Model U.N. provides many benefits to the students at TJ. Co-president Busse described, “These conferences and practices increase our public awareness of worldly events and make us more  knowledgeable of the world around us. After high school people need to be aware of our world and this club helps us with the political, economical, and environmental side of what we’ll need to know in the future to succeed. Also, when we’re practicing our skills in conferences, we are preparing ourselves for the future, academically and socially.” Model U.N. can make a great impact on one’s public speaking and social skills, which are two critical factors that people need to succeed in the world today.  

Behling eagerly took on the task of hosting Model U.N. because he knew that the students wanted to participate and he thinks that people should have a place to follow their passions. Behling is a big supporter of the club because he feels that it will enhance students’ skills in debate, writing for a purpose, and working together. Principal Suzanne Morris-Sherer expanded on the new club, explaining, “The club gives our students a world view of problems that they may have to solve in the future. It will make our students more critical thinkers and give them more of a global perspective of what their place is in the world.”

Model U.N. meets every Thursday after school and every Friday at lunch in room 202. Their first conference is on the December 4th at CU Boulder, and their second will be in April at The University of Denver. For more information on how to join, visit one of the meetings or talk to Behling in room 202.