Last updated 04/10/2019
Hello! My name is Kay Morrison and I am a student worker at the USC Emeriti Center. About a month ago, from March 2-9, 2019 I traveled to New York City, New York to serve on staff for the National High School Model United Nation Conference (NHSMUN). NHSMUN is the worlds largest high school Model UN Conference in the world, and each year the conference welcomes hundreds of schools and thousands of students from all across the globe to participate in an amazing learning experience. At the conference, the students are put into committees to debate about a multitude of pressing international issues, working together to find solutions for topics ranging from refugee and climate change from natural disasters to the feasibility of nuclear energy in developing countries.
NHSMUN was a particularly rewarding experience for me personally because I was able to help lead these discussions, as I served as the Assistant Director of the committee called Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). In our committee, about 100 high school students (who become ‘delegates’ during the conference) discussed the topic of water scarcity and its effects on women. Delegates discussed all aspects of the topic including sanitation, child labor, cultural stigmas, and more, and it was amazing to hear the solutions that each of the delegates presented for their country they were representing. At the end of the last committee session, our committee was able to draft and pass two resolutions full of different ideas as to how water scarcity and its effects on women can be tackled in the real world.
As the Assistant Director for CSW, I was expected to put hours of research into my committee’s topics leading up to the conference, reading articles and writing and grading research papers. I knew I had a very thorough knowledge about the issue and the multiple subtopics that underlie it before coming into the committee; however, seeing delegates become passionate about the intersectionality of water scarcity and women’s rights further reminded me of the real importance of this topic, which was something I may not have learned through any amount of research myself. International Women’s Day fell on March 8, which was the last day of the committee at the conference, and it was truly inspiring to see students coming from different countries, backgrounds, and lifestyles come together to have real conversations about creating a better world for women. a
After three long days of debate, the conference came to an end with the closing ceremonies, which took place in the United Nations General Assembly hall. This was probably the coolest part of the whole conference since delegates, faculty advisors, and the staff members involved in the conference were all able to sit in the seats where real UN representatives sit and discuss world issues in. As a global study major at USC, being able to be a part of this experience challenged me to understand the power of education in younger generations, showed me the limitless possibilities for youth involvement in global issues, and reminded me of the importance of being an activist about the injustices that take place in our world.