This week, I got the chance to sit down with current FHE sophomore Andrew Dylenski (24), who is a part of Model United Nations. I did not know much about MUN until Drew filled me in. He stated, “It’s kind of a nice way for students to collaborate, work against each other, [and] work as a team with your school.” Although last year’s season was cut short due to the pandemic, Drew expects MUN to be the collaborative extracurricular activity he is looking for this year.
First, let’s break down what Model United Nations is. A group of students from a certain school simulates the real United Nations. Each member is assigned a country and they are considered a delegate from that country. Students discuss world problems in a debate setting with other representatives from their school and delegates from other schools as well. At Eastern, there are three different committees that delegates can be assigned to for their country. These committees rotate from year to year, but some committee topics include protecting human rights, maintaining the environment/health crisis, and managing defense systems and advanced warfare.
Last year, as a freshman, Drew managed topics covering relations with his and other countries. He says that this is something that interests him greatly; “You have to dive into knowledge about your country and that interests me.” What encouraged Drew to join MUN last year was the opportunity to socialize with other people. This is evidently a popular reason for people to join because 60-70 people from all grades signed up to join MUN (last year). Similar to other extra-curricular activities last year, Drew says MUN got cut short. The conferences the team usually participates in were canceled, and the workload expected to be produced was less than normal years.
MUN has weekly meetings that last two hours, but the pandemic obviously presented challenges to that. Drew expects students to have a much heavier workload heading into this MUN season. Research must be completed outside of meetings, completing packets about assigned countries and writing papers that present solutions to current issues. Although Drew likes debating, he says he doesn’t like to get into arguments. He enjoys learning about problems and how to fix them.
The main events that members prepare for are the conferences. These conferences are located all across Michigan, and students even stay at hotels for the furthest conferences. With Covid, MUN was forced to take away some of the fun parts that make MUN what it is, such as the conferences. However, Drew finished our conversation on a positive note. He said that he hopes they can participate in the events they were not able to last year. With MUN starting this week, there seems to be a lot of positive energy heading into MUN this year and many excited students will be following with Drew at the forefront.