Club Hopping: Model UN

My experience at one of PM’s most competitive clubs


Photo by Nicole Thomson

Join the PMHS Model UN Schoology group if you’re interested in being part of a club that teaches young adults how to solve some of our planet’s most pressing conflict.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be involved in the United Nations? To be one of the most powerful people on the planet, negotiating with other countries?

Well, being a member of Model UN here at PMHS  gives you a glimpse of what it could be like as a representative of the U.S. solving all kinds of geo-political conflicts.

The United Nations is a real organization comprised of 193 governments from around the world including the US, Algeria, and Argentina, to name just a few. These governments call for global peace and cooperation and fight for this together.

Model UN is basically a mini version of that. You are assigned to a country, you do research on its population, history, socio-economical standing, etc., and then you debate a certain issue; for example: the refugee crisis or climate change and work together to come up with a solution.

When I joined, I was in the second half of my sophomore year (I’m in eleventh grade now). It was a political debate and I love politics, so I thought I would be good at it and that I would find it interesting.

One thing that stood out to me while I was there was the adviser, Mrs. Botta, because she was very attentive to my needs by answering my questions and my concerns. You could also tell she cared about her members by the way she interacted with them. The way she had at least a little bit of a relationship with each of the students was an exceptionally notable part of the experience for me, since, in my opinion, how the adult treats the members of their club is one of the most important elements that could make or break participation.

Mrs. Botta was thoughtful enough and cared enough to help walk me through what to do. In my first meeting (which was on Zoom), she checked on me in the private chat to make sure I wasn’t nervous or had any questions. She even assigned me an officer to help mentor me through the process of preparing for the meeting.

Something I did not like about model UN was the length of the meetings. They were around six hours (with breaks), and they’d usually be on a Saturday. When I was in this club, it was taking place on Zoom. If it weren’t, I think I would have been able to tolerate the length more, and I probably would’ve enjoyed it more overall, but a pandemic is a pandemic and there was nothing to do about it.

Another con I experienced was that it seemed to me that you needed to be good at it to enjoy it. What I mean by this is that I was NOT good at it. One of the topics was how to end terrorism and I unmuted and said, “We should use our money to do that.” I tried to get better, but I never did. I went to three meetings; each one I did terribly. I couldn’t figure out at what point I was going to stop having an embarrassing skill level and I just felt embarrassed for even being there in the first place if I could barely even speak formally.

Overall, this debate club was worth a try! And honestly, I’d give it another try one day if I ever have the time. If you’re into international politics, you should go to a few meetings and see if you like it, you’ll learn a ton about other countries through the research, and you will also learn more about yourself by finding out your thoughts on issues you didn’t even know about previously.

***I’ll be club hopping all year to give readers more behind the scenes looks at all the clubs we have available at PMHS! Comment below if there is a club you’d like me to hop into to!***