Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Alabama’s International Relations Club holds Model UN conference

The Alabama International Relations Club hosted their third Alabama Model United Nations conference last weekend on UA’s campus with more than 110 high school participants.

“Model United Nations is just what it sounds like – a model of the United Nations,” said Becca Benning, the conference’s secretary general. “Students are assigned a country and debate current world issues from that country’s perspective.

“There are many different committees that have specific agendas, but each committee has the ultimate goal of writing a resolution to solve the issues presented. Delegates collaborate, debate and create innovative solutions for pressing world issues.”

Benning organized the entire conference with her staff of seven other University of Alabama students.

Benning and her team have been working since March to organize the event.

“The closer the conference was, the more work we put into it,” Benning said. “We organized every aspect of it – from where the sponsors could park their cars to selecting topics for debate. There were so many little things behind the scenes that participants never see, but we had to account for all of them.”

As well as organizing the conference, Benning and several AIRC members have been working with students from nearby high schools to teach them about Model UN.

“I was able to sit in on committee sessions and see these students debate, and I was very proud to see how well they participated,” Benning said.

Along with debate skills, Model UN teaches students about diplomacy and other ways of thinking, said Sujata Mulekar, ALMUN’s director general.

“Debating the position of a country opens your mind and brings you to the realization that not everyone is going to have the same opinions as you,” Mulekar said. “The goal of the conference is really to teach students how the UN works, but it’s also lots of fun.”

“The best part is getting to see high school students from all over the Southeast come together and engage in relevant discussions on international issues,” Michael Robson, vice president of AIRC and chair of ALMUN’s security council, said.

ALMUN is one of AIRC’s largest events, but the club also attends conferences on the collegiate level, teaches Model UN at several high schools in Alabama’s Black Belt and teaches foreign language to middle school students in the Tuscaloosa area.

“The club provides a venue for Alabama students to get involved in any international events available in the community,” said Kylie Donnelly, president of AIRC.

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