By Emily Carson ‘14
St. Bonaventure University’s Model United Nations (SBUMUN) will host its annual Model United Nations High School Conference on Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23, on campus.
SBUMUN has been hosting the event for more than 20 years. It gives St. Bonaventure students a chance to chair a committee and understand parliamentary procedure that is used within the United Nations. It also allows high school students to get a chance to demonstrate their research and debate skills as they compete with one another for awards, according to Leanna Chojnacki, secretary general of SBUMUN.
There are nine committees that high school students will participate in. Committees include, The Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, The Commission on Sustainable Development, The Historical Security Council: 2001, The International Atomic Energy Agency, The International Organization for Migration, The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), The United Nations Security Council, The United Nations World Tourism Organization and The World Food Programme.
“These committees change each year based on what the club officers choose at the end of each school year for the following year,” said Chojnacki. “We always work to provide as much diversity in our conference as possible and our committee selection process is one way in which we work to make our conference different from other high school conferences.”
Sixteen high schools from the area will participate including, Coudersport Area Jr. / Sr. High School, Cameron County Jr./ Sr. High School, Eden Jr./ Sr. High School, Lancaster High School, Johnsonburg Jr./ Sr. High School, Kane Area High School, Otto-Eldred High School, Nardin Academy, Ridgway Area High School, Bradford Area High School, Lake Shore High School, Olean High School, Friendship Central High School, St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute, Port Allegany High School and Tapestry Charter School.
“Dr. Ibrahim Zabad and I have been working non-stop since last semester to decide on what has to be done, how we as a club are going to execute the work load, and creating necessary documents needed for the conference,” Chojnacki said.
Eight St. Bonaventure students belong to SBUMUN. The organization is asking that other students consider participating in the event too.
“Those that we need help from will be required to come to our class for training sessions once a week until the conference as they will learn about rules of procedure, how to be an outside representative for our A-Team and other pertinent information,” said Chojnacki. “They would be required to moderate the debate, look over draft resolutions, evaluate the delegates for awards and maintain speakers’ time.”
Chojnacki said participating in the event would be time well spent for any student.
“Getting involved in a Model United Nations conference as a member of the Dais or as a delegate is a rewarding experience for all,” she said. “Students will be able to develop their leadership skills, gain knowledge on parliamentary procedure and the content that the delegates are discussing are similar ideas that are often times discussed in classes.”