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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The GLIMUN conference has brought excitement to new and returning members alike

Arpita Das
A photo of senior Arpita Das and one of the people she met at a previous conference she attended.

On top of junior Benjamin Laidlaw’s head sat not a warm hat or a sports cap, but rather a huge pizza.

While his reason for flaunting the pizza down the streets may not have been fashion, it still continues to be one of many memories from the Model United Nations (UN) conference he’s attended that he humorously looks back upon.

“My favorite memory from that conference was that there was this pizza restaurant right around the corner [from our] hotel,” Benjamin said, “and they serve these really big pizzas. I carried this pizza—[that was] really big—above my head. It was just really funny running around with this big pizza on my head.”

In the past, Model UN has attended conferences such as at Michigan State University or the University of Michigan, with this year’s group attending the Great Lakes Invitational Model United Nations (GLIMUN) conference in Kalamazoo. For four days, the attending club members will work in their assigned committees to come to a solution for their designated problem.

Although the general premises of each conference tend to stay the same, there still remain many differences that make the conferences an interesting experience each time. For returning members, such as sophomore Matthew Gascon, the balance between the number of people attending and the chance for participation is a large difference that they are looking forward to.

“I’ve been to two different conferences before,” Matthew said. “The first one I did, the committee size was over 100, so there was a large variety of viewpoints. The caveat is that, with more people, it takes longer to get around to you and speak again in front of everyone. [However,] in the second conference I went to, it was much smaller, so there was–at least for each individual–a higher level of participation. This one is just above the size of the second committee I went to; so it’s balancing [the two aspects].”

While the opportunity to hear varying viewpoints and to participate in the discussion is a positive difference in how the conference will play out, it is not the only reason Matthew is excited to be back taking part in the conference.

In addition to all the differences that the size of the conference will bring, the aspect that keeps bringing Matthew back again and again to these conferences are simple core ones: public speaking and preparation.

“It’s kind of equal in every facet [for what I’m looking forward to],” Matthew said. “For one, there’s public speaking. It’s what Model UN is all about: communicating with each other on what’s best for the world and its global issues. It’s also improving research skills because, with the extreme nuances and thinking about the details that come from all these very complicated issues, delegates have to do a lot of research to put up a good argument for their positions. It’s very interesting to talk about all these world issues.”

The returning delegates are more than excited for the chance to participate in a large Model UN conference once again; however, the elated feeling is extended not only to them but to the first-time delegates as well.

For junior Dia Sriram, it is her first time attending a Model UN conference, and she is looking forward to experiencing everything pertaining to it.

I can see there’s a lot of potential; they are very good at impromptu speaking and very articulate with the way they present themselves. I see a lot of potential a lot in them to win awards.

— Benjamin Laidlaw

“I’m excited to see more people and see people who are interested in doing something like this,” Dia said. “[Our] club is pretty big this year, but I’ve heard not that many people [are going to be attending the conference]. But, I’ve also heard this is kind of a big deal. So I’m just excited to have the experience of going there and staying overnight and then of just [being around] a bunch of people who are talking about Model UN.”

However, more than a source of feelings of exuberance, all the preparations and time spent together as a group have resulted in closer bonds between new and old members alike.

Experiences that may have once seemed embarrassing to do in front of anyone, such as impromptu speeches, have now become a source of commonality.

“I think that [model UN] brings together a lot of different people,” Dia said, “because one of the big things that we do is impromptu speaking in [our meetings], and it’s kind of embarrassing to do impromptu speaking. But, because of that, you get to know the people who are in there really well. It’s pretty fun.”

In preparation for their upcoming conference, each of the Model UN members has found friendships. Whether they are new to the club or returning, Model UN continually proves to be a welcoming space for all—including their new chaperone, Danielle Redman.

When she worked at FHN, she had attended one previous Model UN conference, but even so, she is still learning and growing alongside all the new members, allowing her to share all the nervous and excited feelings they may feel.

“I’m new to Central, just like how a lot of the kids are new to Model UN,” Redman said, “and I don’t have a lot of experience from before with Model UN, so I can relate that way; we’re all kind of new to the whole program. And then, I remember being in high school and trying out new things and being nervous about it, especially like going away for the week or sleeping at a hotel—that can be kind of nerve-racking for kids, but I’m there to be a support and to help them get through that.”

Although many of the members may be new and nervous, many of the returning members, leader or not, have been there to lend a helping hand for any questions or tips for growth; they are there to help buttress the talent and capabilities of the new members.

“[I’m not aiming to win an award this time], but I am aiming to help the people in the club win awards,” Benjamin said. “I can see there’s a lot of potential; they are very good at impromptu speaking and very articulate with the way they present themselves. I see a lot of potential a lot in them to win awards.”

At the end of the day, being allowed to attend GLIMUN is not to be the person to win the most awards or to speak the most. Being given the opportunity to attend is to try—to get better and grow.

“Just go in and try,” Redman said. “Everyone is there to try—to try to get better—and you can’t get better if you don’t participate. So just go in with a really big open mind and do what you can to participate.”

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About the Contributor
Alysse Calabio, Staff Writer
Alysse Calabio is going on to her second and final year on The Central Trend. If there's anything she loves more than the world, it would be experiencing new adventures and hobbies; everything from taekwondo to horseback riding to, evidently, writing has caught her attention at some point. Whether or not she was able to stick with it is up for debate but to say she didn't try would be a lie. In her free time you'll find her attempting to learn how to cook, something she has failed miserably in the past, and crocheting her heart out. This year will surely be a bittersweet one, but she's excited to be going through it. Artist she is currently obsessing over: Laufey Her favorite movie: Everything, Everywhere, All at Once Most interesting food she's ever tried: Chicken feet  

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