Model UN to debate international politics, issues

International politics and international issues come to Missouri Southern’s Model UN Club as they prepare to represent the Philippines.

The 10 students of the Model UN Club are preparing for the upcoming conference on Nov.17-20 in Chicago. These diplomats prepare for conferences by doing research on the country and learning past delegation decisions.

“To do well, you must put in the same amount of hours as a regular class,” said Dr. Paul Teverow, professor of history and the Model UN Club adviser of 22 years.

During a conference, the Model UN Club splits up into different committees. Each student knows what topics he/she will debate. Their goal is to reach an agreement.

In Chicago, participants interact with approximately 2,000 students, representing nearly 100 schools. The St. Louis conference hosts approximately 500 students with 50-60 schools. Teverow said a student must care about their project to the point of defending it and even experience personal outrage at times.

“Determination is when a resolution is passed or if it’s one you altered that’s good. These are things you can’t give a score to,” he said.

“It’s always fun to be a country who suffers from some sort of international controversy,” said Rebecca Elo, senior political science major. “With India, it was their nuclear weapons and the disagreements we had with Pakistan. I really did enjoy annoying the girl in my committee representing Pakistan. I really enjoyed not having to play nice the entire time.”

Even with a country the size of the Philippines, Southern had to have eight delegates. Both Teverow and Elo agree that being in the Model UN club can teach experiences about life. Teverow said it is a learning experience and everyone will at some point be at a loss for words, or do the wrong thing. However, students learn from their mistakes and by watching others fix their mistakes.

“The Model UN club has given me an expanded perception of the world we live in,” Elo said. “With that came the ability to examine a problem with an objectiveness that I never had before. I’ve learned that there is always going to be some others who tick me off, but I can work with them as long as we have a common goal.”

The Model UN club meets at 3:30 p.m. on Thursdays in Room 204 of Webster Hall.