Demon Diplomacy


Photo provided by Will Bumgarner- Government and Politics teacher Troy Colvard engaging in a Model Un meeting.

Will Bumgarner, Staff Writer

    Model United Nations has emerged as a brand new club at RJ Reynolds High School. As our world continues to be plagued by war, political unrest, and steadfast division, there is no better time for Reynolds students to immerse themselves in the realm of diplomacy. 

    Sophomore co-presidents Sophie Johnson and Mary Bevins Myers have led the way in this club’s recent formation. 

    “It’s a simulation of the real United Nations,” Johnson said. “Everyone in the conference has an assigned country and we all discuss how to solve world issues based on our country’s history and opinions.”

    The club has formed a democratic process for determining what each conference will cover.  

    “We came up with a list of topics and did a little bit of research on them,” Johnson said. “We then presented the list to everyone and had them write down their top three in the tally vote.”

    The group quickly came to the decision of climate change for their first mock conference. They have since begun to meet consistently as they continue to research and plan for their first mock conference in December. 

    “We try and meet once a month, so it’s not taking up a lot of people’s time,” Johnson said.  “Especially since it requires a lot of out-of-school work.”

    As the club continues to gain traction, they have begun planning for future years. 

    “App State has a really good conference and so does UNC,” Myers said. “Washington D.C. has a good conference but that’s a little far, so we might not be able to do that until senior year. There’s just a lot that goes into that because you have to think about all the expenses and transportation.”

    Government and Politics teacher, Troy Colvard agreed to be the teacher sponsor for the club as it began its development. 

    “He’s done so much,” Johnson said. “He’s just been great about helping us come up with ideas if we don’t necessarily agree on something and making sure meetings stick to the schedule.” 

    Sophomore Cora Hawfield has also been an important asset in the club’s creation.

    “She’s already done Model UN at West last year,” Johnson said. “So she’s been super helpful and deserves a lot of credit.” 

    Dealing with diplomacy may seem like an intimidating task for students new to the concept, but it doesn’t have to be. 

    “West’s Model UN has been around for a lot longer,” Hawfield said. “But overall what MB and Sophie have started is naturally a greater environment for people who are new to the activity.”

    The club plans to do multiple conferences throughout the year in which the pairs assigned to each country debate their solutions to global issues. 

    “We’re hoping to do one on child labor, women’s rights, or even COVID,” Myers said. “Basically any topic that really affects people worldwide.”

    They are currently still working on getting the club running smoothly. However, they have many ideas of where to take the initiative next. 

    “I’m hoping to do homeroom meetings eventually so everybody can come,” Johnson said. “We could even try to join a chapter of the actual youth model UN organization. I think doing that would be really good so we can get into competitions, so that may be the next step.”

    Johnson believes the club is a great way to spark discussions that aren’t always possible in school. 

    “I don’t think we really learn about everything that’s going on in the country,” Johnson said. “My social studies class last year was only a semester. So I only got that exposure for like 3 months.”

    The club’s co-presidents hope to foster an environment that promotes discussion and diplomacy as they look forward to the club’s future possibilities. 

    “Our biggest goal is just for people to learn more about the world around them and be more educated,” Johnson said. “I think if we could all start doing that at a young age, that would make the world a much better place.”