Riverside Secondary school has a variety of clubs. One of those clubs is the Model UN club. Riverside math teacher Clarence Chee is the club sponsor, and students interested in debating and discussing international events can join anytime. The club meets in portable four, whenever a meeting needs to be called.
When asked what model UN is, Chee explained that Model UN is when students participate in a simulated Model United Nations. The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization that is headquartered in New York City. Its main job is to promote peace and act as a place to debate and solve international problems, while encouraging cooperation and preventing wars. Chee explained that some of the tasks that the students do is choose a country to represent, debate different issues, such as covid-19, wars, and poverty, and make resolutions. Chee, as the teacher sponsor, says his job is to “really support the students in terms facilitating their needs regarding skills for public speaking or debating, and helping run the model UN meeting when need be.”
There are many reasons why a student might want to join the model UN club. Grade 11 Vince Narciso and Grade 12 William Fenyo say they joined because they were interested in the idea of debating real world issues. Grade 11 Diana Osuch, who joined this year, also adds that discussing issues in a group setting will help her further develop her public speaking skills. When asked what the atmosphere was like, Narciso added that “it can be stressful at the start if you are not that good at public speaking, but it is easy to overcome once you start to make friends.” Fenyo added that he got to know the people in the club and the atmosphere became more relaxed. Chee explained that it’s a lot of fun because have students come together and they’re either working or they are trying to debate with each other, while making new friends at the same time.
The Model UN also has events outside of Riverside as well. An event that the club will be going to is called VMUN. VMUN stands for Vancouver Model United Nations and is taking place February 3 – 5, 2023. Students will be staying overnight in a hotel in downtown Vancouver. During the weekend of the event, they will be in committee sessions. Students interested in joining Model UN can scan a QR code or you can go to portable four and speak with Chee about joining. They do not have set meetings every week but if there is a meeting, it will be mentioned during morning announcements. Plus, when a student joins, they will be added to Teams to get updates.