Students represent India at Model U.N., win three awards

Mara Gee, Reporter

Six Model U.N. members traveled to Johnson County Community College (JCCC) on April 4 to participate in discussions.

The varsity team consisted of Jacob Krafft, Peyton Fair, Olivia Miller, sophomores; and Carter Jones, senior. Alex Burbidge and Logan Wallentine, freshmen, made up the junior varsity team.

A total of three awards were given to South.

“I won Outstanding Position Paper and Outstanding Delegate,” Krafft said. “The team won Outstanding Delegation.”

Model U.N. is a “national competition on the high school and collegiate level” where students simulate what the United Nations does, Helen Hardgree, Q.U.E.S.T. teacher and Model U.N. sponsor, said.

The event began by showing an introduction video to participants, which talked about the possible topics members would discuss. There were so many delegations at the competition that separate “overflow” rooms had to be made to accommodate everyone, Hardgree said.

Every team member was part of a different committee (some of which were Food and Agriculture, Women’s Rights, A World Against Terrorism, General Assembly, etc.) so as to encourage them to “meet new people,” but all Olathe South students represented the country of India in the committees, Krafft said.

After everyone was in their designated committee, roll call was taken to mirror what the United Nations does before a meeting.

Each committee had two topics that could have been discussed. Delegates voted on which topic to talk about first after they took roll.

Committees were given the option to talk solely about the first topic or move on to the second, but the goal was to “try to come to a consensus” about the issues, Krafft said.

To prepare for the competition, students had to conduct their own research and keep it in a binder.

“Four people wrote position papers,” which gave an “overview of [one’s] research and took a stance on the problem,” said Krafft, who used two months to prepare.

The competition started at 8:30 a.m. and lasted until 6 p.m., but the team left early, missing the awards ceremony.

“[We] didn’t expect to get anything, since this is the first year,” Hardgree said. Hardgree was involved with Model U.N. when she taught at Blue Valley Northwest and decided to introduce it this year “so next year [they] can have one or two legitimate teams,” she said.