The Model United Nations (MUN) club at Shanghai Livingston American School (SLAS) is not just a student organization; it’s a dynamic opportunity for young minds to engage with global issues and diplomacy. Emerging from the exhilarating experience at Concordia International School Shanghai’s annual conference (CISSMUNXIII), the SLAS MUN club has evolved into a vibrant community of passionate learners.
The path to a viable MUN club has not been an easy one. The club was originally launched by the 2019-2020 SLAS Student Council but was not able to gain traction before classes moved online that winter. Despite these initial challenges, the MUN club at SLAS gained momentum in the 2022-2023 school year. Under the guidance of Mr. Lukas Holas, a dedicated group of seven students delved into the goals of the United Nations, discussed current events, and learned about MUN processes. Five high school students of the seven attended SLAS’ first conference, CISSMUNXII, in March 2023, where they served on a variety of committees engaging with their peers to negotiate resolutions addressing critical global issues. They returned to SLAS more dedicated than ever to building their MUN club.
[mini model UN 2020 hosted by Mr. Lukas Holas]
The enthusiasm of the initial MUNers spilled over to their classmates, and the 2023-2024 school year saw membership surge to 22 middle and high school students, eager to be a part of this student-led activity. The MUN club owes much of its success to the dedication of key elected individuals: Tzu-Wei Liu (Wills, Secretary-General), Minami Watanabe (Deputy Secretary-General), and Hee-Chul Kim (Henry, Chief of Staff) as well as our first MUNers in 2023: Airi Iyama, Minami Watanabe, Myles Jin, Siyun Kim, & Ye-Lin Kang. Their tireless efforts in mentoring students in doing research, making opening speeches, negotiating with other delegates, and writing resolutions, have been instrumental in preparing the group for participating in conferences. In particular, they organized a practice MUN conference at SLAS in December to familiarize participants with conference procedures and protocol which was invaluable.
[CISSMUN 2023 with Mr. Lukas Holas “It was a great experience to guide our very own MUNers….I am so proud to witness our own students rising to the occasion in unfamiliar waters…personally so proud to see our Wildcats grow through this experience…look forward to seeing them as pioneers of Model UN’s continuous development at SLAS”]
Thirteen students attended CISSMUNXIII last week where they actively worked to negotiate resolutions, offer amendments, and raise points of inquiry across nine committees on topics such as the conflict in Yemen, climate refugees, and the global opioid crisis. Although somewhat nervous in the beginning, they finished the conference and came home inspired and determined to continue in their MUN journey.
[CISSMUN 2024 with Ms Lynn Terzis]
As 20 delegates from SLAS gear up for the upcoming MUN conference organized by Wellington in early March, the future of the MUN club at SLAS appears exceptionally promising. These young diplomats, armed with a commitment to cooperation and understanding, are poised to tackle complex global issues and negotiate peaceful solutions to conflicts.
Ms Lynn Terzis
Head of Math Department
Shanghai Livingston American School
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