Since 2001, the weekend before Thanksgiving has meant American Model United Nations. For five years as a college student, I had the opportunity to represent nations such as Peru, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Greece as it deliberated topics from international peace and security to humanitarian and financial issues.
Since 2006, I’ve been a volunteer staff member and for the past six years I’ve been a member of the board. My role at the conference is now one that allows me to help with technology (yes, our website runs on WordPress), take photos, and provide for the food our volunteers eat (we call it protocol).
The simulations are long and arduous, but generally leave with the college students learning about diplomacy, the nations they represent, and the topics they discuss. Our conference is committed to realism, which to me means the esteemed representatives learn to think critically and how to have constructive discussions.
After today, I’ll largely be offline until 27 November to focus on the event.
Oh, and we are doing a campaign right now to help our “Family Fund” which provides financial support to volunteers who otherwise wouldn’t be able to travel to volunteer. If enough people give to support this cause, myself and the other members of the protocol team will get pied in the face.