Wilson sends delegation to Chicago Model UN conference


Courtesy of Henry Cohen

Anna Dueholm

It’s 12:45 am and someone is banging on your door, screaming, “Your country needs you!” No, it’s not an invasion, it’s a crisis simulation at the Chicago Model UN conference! Wilson sent a team of eight delegates to participate in the conference this year, which took place the first weekend in December. 

Wilson delegates left Thursday, December 5, and the conference opened with a dinner and introductory video presentation on the rise of extremism. “At the dinner, students have to divide up into their committees, so it’s a good way to get to know the people you’re going to spend the next four days with,” club sponsor and history teacher Robert Geremia said. 

Following introductions, students broke off into committees of the UN as delegates of their assigned countries. The conference took place in present day, but there was also a historical simulation set in 1991, when the Soviet Union fell. “At the beginning of the conference, they had the hammer and sickle Soviet flag, but by the end, they had the new Russian flag as the soviet union eventually dissolved,” Geremia said. 

Sophomore Henry Cohen served as the Head Delegate of the trip and belonged to the Russian legislative body of 1991. “It was really interesting; I was a hardline communist,” he said. Sophomore Meredith Simon was on the French cabinet as Ambassador to Germany. Six other delegates represented Ukraine and Iran. 

Both Cohen and Simon remarked that the Chicago conference had a few interesting features. “They have a press corps, so I was leaking stuff to the press or trying to get information to some of the other cabinets,” Cohen said. Simon enjoyed playing her role as it would be in real life. “You can use powers specific to your position, so if you’re the minister of the central bank for example, you can control funding to other things in committee. My power was basically to call Germany, which was kind of useful,” she said. 

An overall highlight of the conference was the unique crisis simulation. “If you’re on a cabinet, they show up to your room at 12:45 at night and start banging on your door and yelling, ‘your country needs you; be in your committee room in 10 minutes,’” Simon said. As a member of the French cabinet, she participated in the simulation. “You have to go to your committee room and then we eat pizza. Everyone in our room was deliriously tired,” Simon said. “The crisis was when there was complete anarchy in the crumbling Soviet Union and no one knew who was in control of nuclear weapons.” 

With the little spare time they had, the delegation went to visit the Chicago Bean and eat at a local pizza place. The next Chicago conference is scheduled to take place in February 2021.