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The Student News Site of East Lansing High School

Portrait

The Student News Site of East Lansing High School

Portrait

Model UN hosts their second conference at EL

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Photo by Eleah Major
During the Model UN conference Oct. 28, Elizabeth Ahlin (9) and Sophia Fickies (11) listen intently to the conversation taking place.

On Saturday, Oct. 28, the Model UN team held the East Lansing Model UN (ELMUN) conference for three Michigan high schools. This event not only offered crucial experience to both beginner and experienced members of Model UN, but also served as a unique platform for building confidence in all areas of public speaking and interpersonal skills.

One of the primary goals of ELMUN is to help students understand the intricacies of Model UN conferences, allowing them to become comfortable with the research and debate. According to Amelia Pauly (12), one of the conference organizers and Model UN presidents, participating in ELMUN eases the intimidation often associated with Model UN. By hosting the first conference of the year within the familiar walls of the high school, first time around students can build their confidence. 

“Conferences can be intimidating, so having the first one of the year at our school makes it a little easier to be comfortable [for new members],” Pauly said.

During last year’s ELMUN, the first conference hosted at the high school, the success served as a launching pad for members’ comfort with procedural aspects and debate. The conference even provided an opportunity for senior members to take on a leadership role as chairs, further engaging them with the club. 

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“I helped chair last year, and watching new members speak for the first time and work with others was so exciting,” Pauly said. “It made everyone more confident going into our first real conference with other schools at the Lansing Center.”

This year’s ELMUN posed some challenges, such as deciding how many spots to open for participants. Planning was done carefully due to the uncertainty surrounding the numbers of schools and students attending. 

In terms of content, the organizers chose topics based on the current discussions in the UN Security Council. This approach ensures that the conference remains as relevant as possible, allowing students to study resolutions passed by the UN on these topics.

“We made sure students had a say in what topics were discussed by sending out forms that they could request topics on,” Pauly said.

A tighter schedule was implemented for this year’s conference, with every aspect of the day carefully accounted for. Last year, ELMUN ended one and a half hours early, highlighting the need for a more precise schedule. 

Additionally, this year’s event saw better organization in terms of informing participating schools with topic briefs, thanks to the lessons learned from last year.

“We made sure students had a say in what topics were discussed by sending out forms that they could request topics on,” Pauly said. “We also only had students give a $10 donation for breakfast and dinner, so monetary issues weren’t a concern.”

The hopes for ELMUN’s impact are high, as participants are expected to gain confidence in Model UN conferences, deepen their understanding of international issues, and recognize the significance of Model UN becoming informed global citizens.

While a handful of students won awards, club leadership reassured that the event was not high stakes and awards-centric. ELMUN is not only a conference but a stepping stone for students, offering a unique opportunity to explore and embrace the world of diplomacy in a comfortable and inclusive environment. 

“As we navigate the complex waters of international diplomacy, ELMUN stands as our compass, guiding us through research, debate, and understanding,” Pauly said. “It’s not just a conference, it’s a journey towards becoming informed global citizens, and it’s a whole lot of fun.”

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About the Contributors
Tyler Keefe, Editor-in-Chief of Copy
Tyler Keefe is a member of the Class of 2025 and is the Editor-in-Chief of Copy. He has been on staff since his freshman year during the 2021-2022 school year. Tyler’s favorite thing about journalism is being able to tell others' stories. He feels empowered to know people trust him enough to tell their story. When he is not in the newsroom, Tyler loves to go thrifting. He loves that each time he goes, he finds something that he usually can’t find anywhere else. Whether that be an article of clothing, or decoration for his room. Another thing Tyler does when he’s not in the newsroom is hangout with friends. Being with his friends always boosts his mood and makes him feel happy.
Eleah Major, Photographer
Eleah Major is in the class of 2024 and is a Photographer for Portrait.  This is her first year on staff as a senior.  Eleah's favorite thing about journalism is capturing moments as they happen and giving them a permanent place in history.  When she's not in the newsroom, Eleah goes to concerts with her friends, she also like writing music; on top of that she's currently working towards being a professional photographer/photojournalist.

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