Yielding to Questions: City High Takes On Iowa High School Model UN

Teams from both City and West High participate in the Model United Nations conference held at the University of Northern Iowa.


Model United Nations members pose with flags at the University of Northern Iowa venue

Kate Meis and Claire Hartwig

As a storm brews in the sky above the University of Northern Iowa’s campus, delegates from high schools all over Iowa as well as Platteville, Wisconsin are gathered in Maucker Union to make amendments and resolutions. 

“Model UN is a group open to anyone, and each school participating in the spring convention has a country or two, and picks a topic to work on and solve according to your country’s policies and actions. After research, you go to a convention at the end of the year and discuss with different schools who have different countries about your shared topics. You discuss the country’s policies and relationships through standard United Nations practice, which is what Model UN is based or modeled on,” Hazel Boerner ‘26 said.

This was Boerner’s first year in the club, working on the Political and Security Council representing Albania. Boerner and her partner Lily Rantanen were focused on what previous actions Albania had taken regarding the two topics addressed in their individual position papers. 

Model UN is a club with the goal of making kids aware of what the United Nations does through practice,” Marty Powers ‘25 also joined Model UN this year, focusing on Belarus’ stance in the Legal Committee. He was representing the country on the topic of codifying crimes against humanity and regulations on multinational companies. 

“The legal committee’s purpose is to figure out legal discrepancies and things that most countries don’t agree on, and figure out a way to come to a consensus on those issues,” Powers said.

Both Boerner and Powers were intrigued by the people involved, learning about the United Nations. Additionally, Boerner had shown previous interest in the club years prior, and was mainly interested in problem-solving and finding diplomatic solutions.

“I’m a UN enthusiast. I like all that stuff. It’s really interesting to me, geopolitics. It’s fun because you get to talk with actual other people about it, and you get to find out about ideas and you get to find other perspectives that you wouldn’t necessarily agree with, but you get to understand them better,” Powers said.

“It’s a really confusing process, but overall a low commitment. It’s super fun and horizon-broadening, and I totally recommend looking at the UN’s work and mission. Also trying out Model UN, it’s an amazing opportunity and very chaotic in a fun, you don’t really know what’s going on initially, but in the first hour of meetings, you start to get it,”