Model UN Spotlight
By: Corey Ostensen
Wheaton North offers a myriad of special experiences and excellent opportunities as part of the many clubs and activities offered here. One club that I’ve had the privilege of being a part of for the past two years is Model United Nations (Model UN).
This club is absolutely a unique experience. There are two main events that the Model UN team takes part in, one really great four-day conference at the University of Chicago and one super-fun one-day event. These conferences mimic the real UN and other committees around the world, each aiming to solve real-world issues. One of the best parts of Model UN is these committees range from super well known bodies like UNESCO to a collection of Pixar characters. There’s truly something for everyone, and each committee focuses on specific issues, be that major political debates or just for fun. Students from Wheaton North and schools all over Illinois, the United States, and even the world take on the role of delegates in these committees. In most committees, this involves being assigned a UN member country. The delegate will then take a deep dive into the basic facts, national policies, and political stances of their country. After doing this preparatory work, delegates head off to the conference to collaborate with other nations, hear about other approaches to the issues presented, and write resolutions about proposed solutions to the issue presented. As Iris Swanberg (‘23), current co-president of Wheaton North Model UN, will tell you, this club is “a great place if you love politics, debate, public speaking, or international relations! [It’s a] super fun way to boost your resume for college and meet new people.”
The first event for Model UN is a smaller, one or two day conference in autumn. It’s a really great opportunity for beginners to dip their toes into Model UN and truly figure out what the club is really about. The second is called Model UN of University of Chicago (MUNUC). It’s a massive four-day conference in Chicago. It has delegates from all over the world. In my last committee, we had delegates from New York, Minnesota, the South, and even Puerto Rico! All of these people definitely brought lots of different outlooks on the issues at hand. Aaditi Wadia (‘23), the other co-president of the Wheaton North delegation, says MUNUC is “four crazy days in Chicago, solving problems and creating elaborate plans for your committee with people from all over the country and world.” It truly is. The committees are filled with great people that you’ll get to know really well. This conference is also an excellent opportunity to grow closer with the new people from Wheaton North, as you’ll get to spend lots of time together over these four days. Iris Swanberg says, “I loved every MUNUC I went to. The experience of being around so many other people that were passionate about the same things as me was amazing. I loved being in crisis committees and being able to change the course of history.”
All in all, I can’t recommend this club enough. Of all that I’ve been involved in at Wheaton North, Model UN will always be super special. Rebecca Farrell (‘25), who will also hold a leadership position next year, says, “I would say that it is a great way to get involved and make connections with other students! I would also say it is a great club to join because it is flexible and super fun!” and I couldn’t agree more. If you’re interested in politics and current events, Model UN is definitely for you!