Vista’s Model UN: Connecting with the World

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Vista’s Model UN: Connecting with the World

Vista's Model UN at UC Davis

Vista's Model UN at UC Davis

Vista's Model UN at UC Davis

Vista's Model UN at UC Davis

Rayna Basa, Features Section Writer, Copy Editor

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During the discussion of extrajudicial killings, Vietnam calls out the Philippines for their injustice against its people, suggesting the United Nations should consider kicking the Philippines out altogether. The surrounding countries exchange wild looks at Vietnam’s abrupt decision. After a few seconds of further debate, Iran quickly brings up the United States’ airstrikes in Aleppo that fall under extrajudicial killings. 

This isn’t the United Nations meeting held in New York, just the Model UN club at Vista.

Model UN (MUN) focuses on informing its participants on global issues through UN simulations while maintaining a comfortable environment. This club allows students at Vista to gain both experience and confidence in speaking about issues that affect their world, as well as building on others’ ideas to devise a solution to these problems. In contrast with the model simulations of a World Geography class, MUN concentrates on laid-back conversations that still devise resolutions.

“The members have a better approach and unique solutions because the participants want to be there,” said Anna Lee, Club Treasurer. Lee continues that Model UN is not formulaic, allowing freedom among the students.

Model UN differs from the World Geography simulations as 30 or more students are not competing for points to receive a good grade in the class. People are allowed to simply sit in and listen to simulations without being reprimanded by MUN officers.

“[Our] purpose is to provide a means for Vista students to debate several international issues in the MUN simulation format. Additionally, we want to…serve as the link for passionate students to come together to connect with the world,” as stated on Vista’s MUN website.

The Model UN program has been around since the 1940s, according to the United Nations Association. Students at Vista between 2012 and 2013 decided to implement MUN as a way that revolves around students’ discussion on important issues that arise in our society. Every other Tuesday, MUN members meet  in Carrie Jackson’s room for a brief introduction of the next topic that they will discuss. The following Tuesday conducts the actual model simulation, where they explore a multitude of controversial topics, ranging from extrajudicial killings to terrorism. During these simulations, MUN strives to include as many countries’ perspectives on an issue as possible. The MUN officers advise its members to have background on the country’s stance and to speak from their point of view instead of the students’ biases.

“MUN is not a homework club. It is important to keep a level mind during the simulations,” emphasizes Club President Raj Ajudia. This is to avoid countries ‘personally attacking’ each other and put more focus on finding a solution.

Compared to simulations in a classroom environment, MUN focuses on a “more casual discussion…The research perspective is similar, as well as the learning aspect,” said Param Shah, MUN Parliamentarian.

“It is important to allow as many perspectives as possible to offer both sides to a story. Since it is a more laid-back discussion, just be brave enough to speak your voice,” said Alyssa Wang, member of Model UN.

But MUN isn’t just about discussion and debate; it aims to promote peace, not only within the club and campus but around the world with the members’ newfound knowledge.

Although Model UN is not a new club to Vista’s campus, it continues to gain popularity every year with their action-oriented members.  However, even as MUN expands, their goal remains constant.

“[Our goal] is that we collaborate, think and grow together,” said Wang.

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