Fossil Ridge hosts Model UN conference


MUN delegates debate issues.

Liam H. Flake

On Saturday, December 9, Model United Nations held a conference at Fossil Ridge High School. The event was attended by delegates from MUN and received live coverage from members of Etched in Stone and Ridge TV. In an MUN conference, students act as United Nations delegates from different nations and attempt to resolve global issues.

One unique element of Saturday’s conference was the crisis element, in which the objective is to find compromise. “MUN is really meant to emulate the UN. You get a topic/issue, then try to resolve it from your country’s stance. You spend your time debating the best solution that everyone can agree on,” said Indigo Corso, MUN’s secretary general. “What’s special about our conference is that we add this ‘crisis’ aspect to it, so the topic that you’re debating will change in the middle of committee with some new development. The students (called delegates) have to adapt their position and understand it well enough to respond to the crisis and still resolve the issue,” Corso continued. Crises included situations such as oil shortage, world war, and the death of world leaders.

The live broadcast element, which reported on the happenings of the conference, was provided jointly by Etched In Stone and Ridge TV. “I was one of the three main anchors on the main news channel that was happening. We had field reporters who would get clips in, but the main news was coming from us,” said Olivia Doro, a reporter for Etched in Stone, who acted as a neutral anchor in the conference. Doro represented a central political position while broadcasting, with Jaclyn Ambrose taking a more liberal and humanitarian stance and Brayden Wess representing more conservative views. “I had to have an earpiece in so Mr. Gallagher could talk to me. at one point we went completely off script and I was just saying what Gallagher was telling me in my ear, which freaked everyone else out because they didn’t know what was happening. I was just reporting the news as it came to me,” explained Doro.

The broadcasting was made possible by Ridge TV, which was organized by Stephanie Morita. “I was the producer for the event, so I helped facilitate communication between Ridge TV and MUN and troubleshoot problems that arise,” stated Morita. The live media in this event helped layer onto the developments of the conference and had some level of influence on its functionings. “In MUN usually people are trying to explain their position rather than defend it. Even though they ought to be, and they do to an extent, inevitably more time is spent explaining your position when you’re addressing the committee. So having the media there to probe you and ask all these questions about your stance adds a new level of understanding the delegates have to have,” provided Corso. “Delegates really experience what the media is like and how it can be their friend or foe, essentially. I don’t know of any other conference that does that in the US,” she explained on the matter.

Though this event happened in one day, planning the event took about seven weeks, and MUN has been practicing for most of the semester. “The way preparation goes for the conference on our end is we pick topics or issues to address and then research them and write a background guide, which essentially works to give a direction to research for kids. Then, we organize the logistical pieces of location, food, costs, etc,” explained Corso. Ultimately, the conference was additionally able to generate profit. “There’s a $12 fee to participate. We made about $3,500, not including a few schools that forgot to pay. We are officially supposed to make just over $4,000,” Corso posited.

In all, the MUN conference was both an educational and engaging experience for many involved. For some, it allowed for discovery of new interests and collaborations. “I didn’t know how much I was going to enjoy it. I didn’t even know I wanted to do broadcast journalism until I did this, and now I’m kind of changing my career path,” stated Doro. For others, it was a familiar and enjoyable opportunity to collaborate with others. “I was really happy to work with such an amazing hardworking crew and it definitely made my last MUN broadcast a great experience,” said Morita. For Corso, however, the event was the culmination of years in Model United Nations. “At the end of the day I had a great time. I graduate at semester, and I’ve been working towards this for the past few years. I’m really glad this came together so well. It meant a lot.”