By Alaynah Luttrull
STUTTGART | February 24, 2017
Stuttgart High School Model United Nations team, sponsored by Mr. Loren Preuss, traveled to Prague for the annual MUN conference. The trip consisted of making new friends, touring the beautiful Old Town and city of Prague, and fierce negotiations between delegates. “It’s like a summer camp you’d attend as a kid” commented Harrison Aiton (SHS ’17).
The United Nations is an international organization that has the power to involve itself in the problems confronting humanity today, such as security and peace. Model United Nations (MUN) allows high school students to get a taste of what this is like and develop such practical skills as research, writing, public speaking, collaboration, and negotiation.
MUN is an excellent outlet for students who are interested in the world and trying to solve some of the problems we are faced with today and “an opportunity to portray countries and their policies while learning about current events,” (Evonna Moody SHS ’19). Many MUN students are concerned with developing skills that are useful in real life. Mr. Loren Preuss, an SHS Social Studies teacher, believes that participating in MUN helps students overcome some of their biggest fears, such as public speaking, as it forces them to think as if they were an actual delegate to the UN and clearly explain their ideas both verbally and through writing.
According to Sadie Rodriguez (SHS ’17), “the resolutions [they] make could theoretically be used in the actual UN, but they would probably need to be expanded and improved.” The fusion of ideas and experiences allow students to really understand how the UN works and lets many learn much about themselves and how they would perform in a real-life diplomatic situation. “The UN is not as unified as we are,” noted McKenna Christmas (SHS’19), “when you actually get to do that kind of work, you figure a lot of things out.”
According to Mr. Preuss, the MUN team judges its success by passing or preventing resolutions and having as many delegates as possible speak before the General Assembly on the final afternoon of the conference. By these standards, the SHS team was very successful. They had more than half of their delegates speak at the General Assembly and influenced almost every resolution. “We were definitely dominant figures at the conference,” added Rodriguez.
Mr. Preuss has been a teacher sponsor for MUN for twenty-one years, six of which he has spent at Stuttgart High. He continues to introduce students to practical skills that are important in everyday life and encourages them to learn about the pragmatic application of the skills learned in school. “It’s fun to take them [the students] to the conference,” Mr. Preuss expressed, “I enjoy watching kids grow.”