The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hosted a convention for high school Model United Nation clubs on the weekend of April 1-3, attended by the LRHS chapter. Around 15 MUN members from Leesville made the trip to UNC-CH to compete and cooperate.
The event occurred over the three-day weekend and had participants from many clubs both local and far-flung.
“We argued about different topics, like refugees, international terrorism, and malnutrition,” said Sahil Dayal, a sophomore MUN member. “They were debated in the committees, which were all different sizes and had Leesville people scattered through them.”
However, these methods of international discussion were foreign to the limited-experience Leesville group; not one current member in the LRHS club had attended a convention in the past.
“Everyone in the school was split up into separate committees — not even in the same room as other Leesville members,” said Erica Lee, MUN president. Lee, one of the club’s most experienced members despite being a sophomore, felt that the practice conventions the school organization has engineered did not adequately prepare MUN members for this larger-scale experience.
“We weren’t very well prepared for something of this magnitude. There were clubs from Tennessee, from Maine, from everywhere… and everyone had something to say,” said Lee. “We weren’t used to that kind of high-strung debate.”
But even though the club encountered setbacks, the members agreed that their experience was fun and enlightening — not to mention beneficial for future years of Model UN at LRHS.
“We hope to go to the Duke convention next year — it’s on a much larger scale,” added Lee, who has high hopes about future competitions and conventions.
Either way, it’s clear that MUNCH was a step forward for one of Leesville’s smallest and youngest clubs, and plans are still rolling for a return to Chapel Hill next year.
The UN has been going downhill for quite some time.