Model UN Makes Changes as Coronavirus Rates Rise

Model UN Makes Changes as Coronavirus Rates Rise

Emme Perencevich, Copy Editor

On Monday, November 9, City High Model United Nations held their first meeting of the year. Steve Dodge, teacher and Model U.N. club advisor at City High, spent the first half of the meeting informing students about the Iowa High School Model United Nations conference. The conference is hosted by the University of Northern Iowa and is set for Thursday, April 8 to Friday, April 9. This year, the conference will be held online over Zoom. 

“To make sure we don’t end up having the conference doesn’t get canceled like last year, I think it’s a good idea that the University of Northern Iowa is planning to have a Zoom conference. That way they can get everything set up and there won’t be any disappointments if something happens where we can’t meet in person,” Dodge said. “It will be a unique way to use Zoom with the number of people that they typically have at the conference. I’m interested to see how they will set it up.”

Dodge explained the requirements for the conference, which include a researched paper from the previous year’s topic. Under normal circumstances, the conference would have different topics each year. Because last year’s conference was canceled, this year the prompt will be carried over.

The second half of the meeting was spent discussing plans to hold a small conference for City High students. Possible dates and topics were considered. As of now, it will be held in February. 

“I think it is a good opportunity here at City to establish a local conference, just at City High. Maybe in the future, we can include some of the other high schools in Iowa City if this goes well. I think for the first year we will do an online conference here with students here each representing a country.” 

The topics for the City High conference are immunization and the pandemic, and climate change. Students will also write positions papers on these issues to prepare to discuss possible solutions. It will be a time for them to practice before the larger conference in the spring. 

“I think it will bring in an international perspective to what we’re seeing as a ‘United States problem.’ This will help students to look at climate change and the pandemic on a global scale. I think that’s the only way when you look at a pandemic, that you’re going to get any real solutions,” said Dodge. “I think it will be a positive thing, to get people to look at it that way.”