Starting on Friday January 25, 2018 a large group of teenagers dressed in “western business attire” invaded Vancouver, Canada. No, there wasn’t an influx in Gen Z members getting corporate jobs, nor have Post Malone concerts implemented a suddenly strict dress code- that weekend was VMUN, also known as Vancouver Model United Nations.
Model UN offers high school students a taste of delegate life. It is an event where high school students are assigned a country and gather together to participate in a simulation of the Model United Nations, where the problems are real, but the solutions are hypothetical. Similar to how each student is assigned a country, they are also assigned a committee, meant to focus efforts on a specific topic and each with separate goals and amounted power.
At Ursuline, Model UN is a club (rather than a high stakes class), making it less competitive than other schools and focusing on the experience of the trip and conference. However, within the Academy, Ursuline girls caught the Model UN fever, with more girls trying out than ever before and only 11% making it on the team.
A total of 13 girls departed Dallas on January 24, 2019 for the foreign lands of Vancouver: Anna Paulina Quiroz ’22; Serena Dash ’22; Somto Unini ’21; Delia Rose Constantin ’22; Chiamaka Osuagwu ‘20; Paula O’Rourke ’20; Elisabeth Matthews ’19; Shreya Jain ’19; Sophie Poalma ’19; Elena Graham ’19; Kaitlynn Soo ’19; Amanda Stockard ’19; and myself. Because it was Ursuline’s first time out of the country for Model UN, we were all excited and nervous, unsure of what to expect from our upstairs neighbors.
We landed early Thursday morning, and after dropping off our bags at our home for the next four days the Hyatt Regency, our band of Ursuline girls headed to The University of British Columbia for a tour. UBC is one of the top Universities in Canada, offering not only academics but a breathtaking view of both the mountains and the ocean. Following our tour, we went to dinner at a local restaurant called Earls and then fell into a deep slumber, exhausted from a long day of travel and Canadian fun.
The second day was officially the first day of committee and was chalked full of debate and international dealings. Through these intelligent interactions, us Ursuline girls met some friends, or should I say alliance members, from across the world.
The next day began similarly to the one before, but after dinner we were invited to go to the delegate social. The social is a dance for all of the committee members, essentially MUN “hoco”. After the dance, at 12:00 A.M., we were required to go to a midnight crisis. A crisis is basically an urgent situation, like a terrorist attack, that happens “in real time” and must be solved by your committee. This lasted from 12:00 A.M.- 2:00 A.M. Vancouver time, which is 2 hours behind our own. Needless to say, we were exhausted the next day.
Sunday was our final day in Vancouver, and while some went to conference in the mourning, others slept in and had breakfast near the water. Then, we headed to the airport and returned home to Dallas.
Model UN will be a high school experience I will treasure for the rest of my life. Not only does it inspire a sense of worldliness and political awareness, it also connects me to other girls at Ursuline and people from across the world. This Model UN trip, I was able to participate in an amazing conference while simultaneously traveling to a new country with some of my best friends.