By Jake and Drew Wesson, Washburn High School Model UN members

Washburn Model United Nations was founded in 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We started with about six students but, since then, our club has since grown to over 50 active members, with 150 in total. Some students, like freshman Benjamin Cahoy-Nanneman, joined to improve their communication skills. Others joined because they wanted to challenge themselves socially and academically.

As part of Model United Nations, we connect with students from around the state who have a similar interest in solving global issues. The goal is to represent countries' stances on issues that range from war and conflict to rural economic development. We’ve represented approximately one hundred countries in the past 4 years. To prepare for a conference, we dive deep into our country’s perspective. We then write up what is essentially a summary, called a position paper, and use that information to debate with other countries. Once we’ve done that, our goal is to write a resolution. This format follows real-life United Nations resolutions and is essentially a solution to a problem.

Most recently, Washburn Model UN attended a conference at Macalester College hosted by the United Nations Association of Minnesota. With financial assistance from the Washburn Foundation, 48 students from our club attended and represented countries such as Germany, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and more. Attendees dressed up in professional attire to play the part of UN delegates who debate real-world issues.

Our club had a rewarding and enriching time at the conference. Mar Conners, a Washburn senior who represented Algeria, said, ¨It was an amazing chance to collaborate with others and to get other people to appreciate my own ideas about making the world a better place.”

Eli Keppe, a junior at Washburn who represented the Philippines, agreed saying, “The conference was good, the lunch was awesome, working with other delegates to make a position paper I was really confident about was really great.”

At the conference, Washburn Model United Nations represented the following topics and countries. 48 members attended:

A special thank you to the Washburn Foundation and our amazing chaperones and advisors for making this possible.

For more information on our club, or if you’d like to follow along with our endeavors, check out our website or Instagram.