Humans of Dakota– Model UN

Emily Gottlieb, Columnist

Every human at Dakota is a part of something. One of those clubs is Dakota’s Model United Nations, or DMUN. The club allows students to act as delegates from various countries and attend conferences where they try to find resolutions to global issues. This week, I sat down with two of the club’s members, John Osmond and Elizabeth Popovich. 

John Osmond is a sophomore, and this is his second year being in Model UN, while Elizabeth Popovich, a junior, is starting her third year of Model UN and is on the E-Board.  

I first asked what made them want to join Model UN. Osmond said that he “was really interested in politics and current events” and that he had seen “an episode of Community that had Model UN in it.” Popovich expressed that she also had interest in world issues and debating, but also joined because of one of the advisors, Mrs. Lukens.  

I next asked them what their most memorable moment had been so far. Both talked about a specific conference that they had attended. Osmond said that at an overnight conference in Lansing, he “loved hanging out with [his] friends in the hotel room and eating out. That experience was amazing.” Popovich also talked about an overnight conference. She mentioned MAMUN, or the Mid-American Model United Nations conference, where she expressed how much she loved “just the whole conference.”

Both mentioned that the most important thing they have learned is debate skills. Popovich explained that as a part of Model UN, she learned “how to debate issues that you don’t agree with while still being civil.” Sometimes, a topic requires delegates to argue a viewpoint opposite of their personal viewpoint. They still have to provide a strong argument that represents the viewpoints of the country that they are representing. Osmond brought up that research skills were also something that he had learned, saying “literally how to research a topic well.” He also mentioned that he had to learn about “world politics and learning a lot more about the modern world.”

Every member of DMUN seems to have a favorite country, and often it’s the controversial ones. Osmond said that his favorite country is the Russian Federation because “they’re like the elephant in the room, everybody hates them and they can screw everyone over. It’s so much fun.” Popovich explained that her favorite country is also a controversial one. She chose “Pakistan because they’re controversial. I love controversial countries.” Controversial countries get to stand out more and cause more conflict.

The last question that I asked was if they could explain what Model UN is in 10 words or less. Popovich did it in six words: “debating world issues while having fun.” Osmond did it in seven: “Really fun, it’s complicated but worth it.”