MISSOULA — A political science class at the University of Montana facilitated the 55th annual Montana Model UN conference on Monday, welcoming to campus hundreds of high school students from Montana and Idaho.
For the high school students, the event provided a chance to learn the fundamentals of parliamentary procedure and current affairs. For the college students, the conference proved to be invaluable for their future careers in politics.
"Most of us are political science majors and it would be a dream to work in the UN, and actually having the ability to study it and know what we’re doing is just the absolute fact of it all...we could be there in 10 years or 20 years making a significant difference in changing climate change, in helping women’s rights. This is just the start," said UM senior Ayva Axton.
Through the conference, high school students acted as diplomats and represented countries from across the world. By brainstorming resolutions and discussing different ideas, students learned to examine international affairs from different perspectives and experience what it’s like to solve real world problems.
Junior Cade Uran participated in General Assembly 1 where he discussed nuclear disarmament and the use of space.
While he’s only a teenager, he expressed the importance of learning about these issues at a young age, saying, “It’s an overused argument but it’s overused because it’s accurate-youth today are the leaders of tomorrow so it’s very important for them to know what’s going on so that they can fill their purpose of leading in the future”
Closing ceremonies for the conference will be held Tuesday afternoon. During the awards ceremony, 25 high school seniors will be named Top Seniors, and five seniors will be awarded scholarships to attend UM.