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The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

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The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

Senior Brendan Symons wins Model U.N. outstanding delegate award

Symons reflects on why Model United Nations is important for students
Piper Journey
Symons during AP Physics class on April 30.

Senior Brendan Symon’s best advice for students looking into Model United Nations is to avoid trying too hard. 

After all, he says, “It’s just pretending to be the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and arguing with each other.” 

If anyone is educated on the topic, it’s Symons. He’s completed his final year of Model UN, which he has participated in since 6th grade. At this year’s competition in Chicago, he was named outstanding delegate for his crisis committee, which debated the policies of California politics. 

Teacher and Model UN adviser Wayne Rush wasn’t surprised. 

“He knows way more about world politics than I do,” Rush said. “He was an awesome speaker and an awesome paper-writer.”  

Model UN is a high school program designed to simulate the United Nations General Assembly. Students from across the country play the role of political delegates, debating assigned topics during a five-day conference in Chicago. 

Club president Adelle Spiess helped lead thirty LHS students to the conference. For her, Model UN is a building block for developing life skills alongside friendly competition. 

“You get so much out of participating,” Spiess said. “It’s a low-stakes opportunity to really test and grow and develop these really important skills.”

Spiess also received an honorable mention for her committee. Alongside Symon’s award, the two were a strong representation of success in Model UN, which Rush believes inspires the rest of the club. 

“[Their] dedication and excitement,” he said. “[It] gets other students wanting to do it.” 

In an era where clubs and extracurricular programs are consistently threatened by budget cuts and available resources, Model UN’s survival hinges on participation. 

“If participation is down, there’s a real possibility of these programs being cut,” Spiess said. 

Students choose to participate in Model UN for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s the opportunity to debate real-world politics with equally-interested peers. For others like Symons, it’s pure enjoyment. 

“I just do it to have fun,” Symons said.

Symons tries not to take the pretend political controversy too seriously. As Spiess pointed out, the opportunity has a deeper meaning. 

“You get to come to your session and make friends and talk about worldly issues,” Spiess said. “And just remind yourself that everything is bigger than you living your individual life.”

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About the Contributors
Ashlyn Tell
Ashlyn Tell, Reporter
I'm a first-year writer on the journalism staff. Outside of journalism, I love to ride my bike, cook, and spend time with friends.
Piper Journey
Piper Journey, Photographer
I'm a first-year photographer on the journalism staff. When I'm not taking pictures, I'm on the court playing volleyball at LHS or studying.

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