Model UN Holds Annual Conference

By Shrinidhi Dandibhotla and Annie Zhang

The Methacton Model United Nations Club held its third annual high school conference on March 23. Known as MethMun, the conference draws schools from all over Pennsylvania to attend a full day of debate and discussion.

In attendance this year were Lewisburg Area High School, Harriton High School and Lower Merion High School, making up a total of about 50 delegates.

Dr. Chris Stangl of West Chester University’s political science department was present to give the keynote at the opening ceremony. Dr. Stangl’s address centered around the concept of contingency, or acknowledging that any one event is the result of an indeterminate amount of prior events.

Students debated topics such as the future of oil-based economies and regulation of the global arms trade, having six hours to come up with comprehensive solutions for each topic.

Advanced delegates had the opportunity to participate in an exciting, fast-paced simulation of the Colombian drug trade, where half of the students acting as the cartel were tasked with making the decisions necessary to sustain the trade while evading the efforts of the other half of students acting as the United States and Colombian police forces.

This simulation, known as a crisis committee, runs with a team of staff members who respond to delegates’ individual requests for action, ensuring that background action occurs while delegates debate as a group.

Along with the crisis staff, dozens of other Methacton MUN members worked to run the conference. The club has been preparing for the committee since December, writing background guides for attendees, recruiting schools to attend, and working with administration to determine logistics. Alumnus Shayan Farmand returned to chair the General Assembly Economic and Financial Committee simulation.

One sophomore, who has participated in Model UN since his freshman year, talked about his experiences.

“I had a lot of fun being behind the scenes of a conference. It really shows how much work goes into running a good one and gave me some perspective for the conferences I’ve been to before.”

The club has attended overnight collegiate conferences at Johns Hopkins University and New York University and one-day conferences at Temple University and Kutztown University.

The Model United Nations club meets Wednesdays at 2:20 in Ms. Caflisch’s room.