On September 29, 2023, Eastern Mennonite High School participated in Harrisonburg High School’s Model United Nations (MUN) conference for the first time. The three committees discussed serious topics – human trafficking, drug usage, and nuclear weapons. The day began with a keynote from a JMU professor encouraging students to spend time abroad, learning another language, and to engage with others because we need to live as a global community on our only planet. “Because it was a smaller conference, I had the opportunity to be more involved,” says Karinna Fink. Many EMHS students were able to participate in depth in their committees, and demonstrated “their willingness to cooperate with delegates from other schools,” explains Nico Armenteros, a student leader.
Overall, it was successful, resulting in several EMHS delegates winning awards, as well as an excellent introduction to possible future collaborations of the Harrisonburg and Eastern Mennonite MUN clubs.
MUN is a student-led program with student officers leading the work sessions. Every participating student represents a different country. Students then represent their respective country positions on the topic and were given a set amount to share their interest in being part of the solution and collaborating with other countries. After hearing from all UN countries represented, they make a motion toward a joint solution with countries offering support, or alternative solutions, to the motion. This hands-on approach to learning, which introduces students to global challenges and gets them out into the local community, is part of the education happening at EMS!