By Juan Herrera
Maintaining peace, resolving conflicts, protecting the environment and much more between nations is not an easy task, but someone has to do it. The organization in charge of doing so is the United Nations (U.N.). This group consists of representatives from countries making policies to benefit their needs while trying to attend to other nations problems as well.
According to the United Nations website, the organization was set in place to keep international order following World War II to hopefully prevent another one from breaking out. Still, to this day, the U.N., based out of New York City, makes decisions and policies with the intent to maintain peace and security.
Now imagine a simulation of the actual U.N., but instead of country representatives, you have college kids from around the world meeting at one conference to try and maintain peace. Humboldt State University had the opportunity to compete in the Model United Nations (M.U.N.) conferences; Far West and Nationals. Nationals were held in the heart of New York City from April 9-13, then shortly after Far West was held in San Francisco from April 21-25 of 2017.
Maggie Martinez, a senior at HSU, was one of the eight representatives that went to Far West and Nationals. She talks a little about the differences in both conferences.
“Far West is slightly more lenient, but people are more aggressive in an unproductive way,” Martinez said. “Whereas Nationals people are aggressive in a productive manner.”
According to Martinez, at Nationals, the country HSU represented was Cabo Verde with a total of eight students. She then mentions at Far West HSU took on Russia, Yemen, and Bhutan with a total of 30 students.
Lorea Euskadi, senior at HSU, another one of the eight student representatives that attended both conferences talks about the importance of M.U.N.
“This a huge opportunity for college students to network with people that could benefit their future,” Euskadi said. “Model UN has taught me multiple life lessons, but the most important to me is a hard work ethic.”
According to Euskadi the Nationals conference is actually considered a National Collegiate Conference Association (NCCA) event with a broadcasted closing plenary in the actual U.N. headquarters building. She then mentions that due to Nationals being the world’s largest intercollegiate MUN simulation it brings a lot of stress and pressure on the students.
“Writing paper after paper for five straight days, with hopefully more than three hours a sleep a night, will mentally drain anyone,” Euskadi said. “Then having to make everything damn near perfect will put a ton of stress on the delegates putting in the work.”
Humboldt State will be attending next year’s Model U.N. at Nationals and Far West as well. Both conferences will be held at the same venue but the times are TBA for some time in 2018.
Martinez had one last part of advice for the future Model U.N. representatives that Humboldt State sends.
“Congregate, compromise and mediate,” Martinez said. “These three things helped me excel very well in the conferences.”
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