Model UN/Youth & Government
The Model United Nations Club endeavors to simulate the United Nations system through learning about the skills of debate, compromise, conflict resolution, and negotiation.
Model UN team members learn about the workings of world diplomacy through the lens of current events. Participants research a country, take on roles as diplomats, investigate international issues, debate, deliberate, consult, and develop solutions to world problems. During a simulation, students employ a variety of communications and critical thinking skills to defend and advance the policies of their country.
The Youth and Government program is sponsored in 37 states by the YMCA. The program in New Jersey is in its 75th year and is the second oldest Youth and Government (YaG) program in the country. Each Spring, high school delegations from across the state converge on the State House in Trenton where actual NJ law-makers do their jobs governing the state. Students must craft bills prior to attending. During the weekend bills are debated, lobbyists try to swing votes in their favor, and journalists report on the daily happenings. Patterned after the actual NJ State Legislature, a Youth Governor and his cabinet is elected each year, along with the Speakers of the Assemblies and Presidents of the Senate. College and adult staff are there in an advisory capacity, but the program direction, bills, etc are all high school-student organized.
In addition to biweekly meetings after school, students attend at least one Saturday conference in the fall and a weekend conference in the winter. The Club is open to all students with interests in or skills with debate, public speaking, international affairs, negotiation, conflict resolution, plotting strategy, and understanding UN/State Government procedures.