Model United Nations has been a club at Riverside for many years, allowing students to explore topics relating to the current politics and global affairs of the world around them. The members attend student-led conferences that normally last three days and two nights. The students are given the opportunity to choose a real committee from the actual United Nations and from there, are given a country to represent within that committee. Some of these committees include SOCHUM (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee), DISEC (Disarmament and International Security Committee), and UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund.) Each committee holds from almost 200 students to as little as 10 students, all based off actual UN protocol. The committees hold several sessions, ran by a student Dias (the moderators of the committee during debate) , debating and discussing the chosen topics. Each student represents a country, adding their countries ideas and solutions on how to solve the issues at hand.
Mr. Clarence Chee is the teacher sponsor of the club and has been for many years. He attends the conferences and oversees the meetings, although the head delegates run the reunions.
Grade 12, Macy LaGambina is one of the head delegates. She has been participating in conferences since grade 10 and is interested in pursuing a career in related studies. “The idea of debating and discussing global issues had always fascinated me. I always had a passion with the current state of our nation but never found a platform or people where or with who I could share my visions and ideas. I later found that Model UN was a perfect place to openly share my stance and point of views on problems in which the conversation needed to be created,” said LaGambina. She has thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the club due to it’s “tight-knit” community feeling and how many friends she has made at Riverside because of it.
Model United Nations conferences not only let students explore research and debate, but also it allows networking and new connections with like-minded teenagers from all around the world.
Riverside’s attendance and number of delegates varies each year based on interest, but for the 2019/2020 school year, the club has had a big turnout in students interested in participating. Almost 20 students attended the first meeting. The conferences that the school is planning on attending are VMUN (Vancouver Model United Nations) and CAHSMUN (Canadian High School’s Model United Nations.) These events normally have more than 1000 students attending internationally, since they are two of the biggest MUN conferences in proximity. The weekend is mostly spent in committee session with two to three each day, followed by breaks and a midnight crisis. The event also holds a delegate social where students have the opportunity to socialize with other delegates in a party-like, casual setting
The MUN group doesn’t follow the normal guidelines of a Riverside club, since the entire point is to attend weekend-long conferences 2-3 times during the school year. Nevertheless, the members often meet three times a month to prepare for their committee sessions, with the head delegates informing the newer delegates on flow of debate, how to present your ideas, and basic MUN information in general.
VMUN is taking place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver, February 14-16, 2020, and CAHSMUN is holding it’s conference at Vancouver’s Sheraton Wall Centre, April 3-5, 2020. All members of the Model United Nations club are planning on attending both conferences, as early registration is coming to an end.
Any Riverside students are welcome to join!