Edina Model UN Conference Makes History

January 12, 2014

This past Saturday was an exciting day for the Edina High School Model United Nations team. Thanks to a student leadership team that had been hard at work since this past spring, Edina was able to host the first ever student-run Model UN conference in the state of Minnesota. Close to two hundred students from eight high school teams across the metro area were in attendance, as well as, of course, Edina’s very own Model UN team.

Held in Fick Auditorium, the conference started out with an opening ceremony that featured impressive speeches from several significant figures. Excitement arose as Minnesota Senator Al Franken, Commissioner Kevin Lindsey of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, and our very own Dr. Bruce Locklear came to the podium with both touching and motivating words. “To be able to bring a bit of light and humor to [the conference], but also be poignant with what we were trying to do today was really amazing,” said the conference’s Faculty Advisory, Nickie McKeever, regarding the guests’ speeches.

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After the opening ceremony, delegates jumped right into the main action of the conference. Placards were raised, ideas conveyed, and resolutions crafted as the topic, “Rights of Indigenous People,” was thoroughly disputed. “I was honestly surprised at how well-rehearsed all of the participants were. At some conferences, people sit and lounge waiting for others to do the work, but at EMUNC everyone was very animated in getting their opinions heard along with putting it into the resolutions presented. Compared to the other conferences I’ve been to, EMUNC has been the best by far!” noted EHS senior and conference award winner, Alida Holmes.

The progression of the day ran extremely smoothly, as nation representatives each took the microphone to address their fellow delegates with original and impressive solutions to a global problem. However, the day’s events couldn’t have been so well planned out without the impressive work of the student leadership team.

For over nine months, committees of EHS students have been putting non-stop effort into the planning of this conference, covering everything from the elaborate background guide on the topic to small details like timing. “We began by splitting our leadership team into different sub-committees that would deal with different aspects of the conference, like the Dais Committee, External Relations, Committee Content, and Logistics,” said Josie Thuma, Chief Officer of Logistics for the conference. Thuma explained that the different committees focused separately on their assigned tasks, with guidance from their advisors, before bringing everything together in the end. Thuma actually spent Monday, Jan. 6 hand-making the conference’s 250 placards!

“[The conference] exceeded my expectations. The team seemed to have thought through every possible situation and prepared themselves, making it much more organized and professional than any other conference I’ve been to!” said EHS senior Abbie Barnes.

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At the end of the day, a high quality conference was delivered and a sense of accomplishment, from both delegates and leadership members, could be felt. Several left with awards, but even those who didn’t could agree that this Saturday, history was made. “The biggest highlight must have been when the first committee session started. Finally, we got to see what we had been working on for so long in action,” said McKeever.

As for EMUNC 2015? “If we see the interest for it and we have time for it, then we’ll definitely think about doing it again!” added McKeever.

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