LHS participates in the first Model UN event in Sioux Falls


Photo used with permission by Jennifer DuBois

The LHS Model United Nations delegation. This group of students won Best Small Delegation at the conference.

Ella DuBois, Staff Writer

Augustana University held its first-ever Model United Nations Conference on Saturday, April 22. Eight LHS students participated in this convention representing various stances on current issues. 

The objective of the event was to replicate the United Nations and its course of action. Prior to the conference, students who participated were assigned a country or state, placed on a committee and given a discussion topic. While at the event they took on the role of delegates discussing various global issues diplomatically. The attendees needed to use the policies and perspectives of their given country or state to solve real-world problems.

The LHS delegation was assigned to three committees. Laura Ge represented the country of Nepal and Olivia Friske represented the United Kingdom on the Economic and Social Councils Committee. Both  discussed the topic of developing countries and the threat of debt trapping. Falco Gerling represented Brazil, Kate Matthes represented Italy and Audrey Akkerman represented Norway on the United Nations Human Rights Council Committee. They discussed the topic of rights infringements of women and children in Iran. Owen Batcheller represented Kansas, Reese Duncan represented Nevada and Arthur Tao represented Mississippi on the United States Senate Committee where they discussed territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

“We worked with high schoolers from all over the area while engaging in discussions about real-world important topics,” said Gerling.

Prior to attending the conference, each delegate had to complete training modules to familiarize themselves with parliamentary procedures, do research on the topic they were given, and prepare an opening speech on the views of their country or state on the assigned topic and what they believed should be done about it. Speeches are the main way for countries to determine who they want to work with, so it is important to prepare a speech that communicates this. 

“It was an overall very fun experience and gave us all the chance to step out of our comfort zones and participate in something none of us have done before,” said Gerling. “I would certainly do it again as it was super beneficial and educational while also very fun and exciting.”

The LHS delegation was very successful at the Model UN conference. Tao won the Outstanding Delegate award for the U.S. Senate Committee for the amount and quality of his contributions to the discussion and his work to come to a resolution. LHS won Best Small Delegation because the organizers of the event felt they, as a group, had the most people from their delegation giving quality contributions to the discussion and working towards a resolution.