Shah, Liu re-establish Model United Nations club

Zeina Nicolas, Staff Writer

Max Liu (11) and Rajvi Shah (11) debate policy in MUN. The two students renewed the club this year. (Photo Illustration by Zeina Nicolas)

Max Liu (11) decided over the summer that he wanted to revive a club which previously existed on campus, but was then inactive—Model United Nations.

“I was actually in Model UN [during] online school,” Liu said. “But since it was online school, it was kind of dead like most clubs. It collapsed [during my] sophomore year, it wasn’t a thing [anymore]. Over the summer, I decided I kind of wanted to revive it. [Rajvi] also had the same idea.”

Rajvi Shah (11) was talking to her brother one day near the end of her sophomore year, when he mentioned Model UN.

“He was like ‘oh, you should start it up again’ and I was like ‘sure, I’ll do that,’ and over summer, I saw Max’s [Instagram] story,” Shah said. “He was like ‘oh, I’m starting Model UN’ and I was like ‘hey, can I join you?’ And so we just compromised,” Shah said.

After a year of inactivity, Liu and Shah revived the club as co-presidents.

Model UN is a nationwide club where students simulate the United Nations General Assembly. Students in the role play as ambassadors while debating topics such as gender equality, climate action, and global health. When competing against other high schools, Model UN winners are determined by vote of committee delegates based on how well their peers cooperated with discussion prompts and stayed in the policy or character of their assigned state.

After students who were previous executive members of Westview’s Model UN graduated during quarantine, the club became inactive.

Shah was introduced to Model UN by her brother and also began her junior year with the initiative to revive the club.

“[My experience] was [during] the end of sophomore year,” Shah said. “I was talking to my brother and he was in Model UN before, so 

Aside from Liu and Shah, there were three students who brought the same idea to ASB.

“[There were] three groups trying to revive Model UN,” Shah said.

One group dropped out after the singular student decided advocating to be president of the club wasn’t worth it.

“Then it was [Max and me] versus two other girls, and so we just talked about who’d be able to run it best,” Shah said. “And since [Max and I] had been [preparing] for it for a really long time, and we talked to Model UN exec members from other schools too to figure out how to run it.”

Presidents were decided by ASB, Shah said.

“After that, we made an official announcement that all of the other exec positions would be [decided by] popular vote,” Shah said. “We made a Google Form and in the first meeting, everyone had the opportunity to vote.”

Shah and Liu said they’re looking forward to finding new opportunities for Model UN.

“[In] our meetings, we [have] different club members representing different countries, and then we have a small conference,” Liu said. “Then we hand out awards for best delegates.”

“Right now, we’re trying to get our club to go to the Bishops’ Model UN [conference], which is in December,” Shah said.

The Knights Model UN Conference is hosted every year by the Bishops School, where Southern California Model UN clubs compete.

“By next year, we really want to do at least one of the college [competitions],” Shah said. “It’s high schools [competing], but it’s a competition at a college. After that, we have some other projects set in place for PUSD-based Model UN [where we will enter local competitions”

Shah said she is excited for the possibilities the revived club presents.

“I feel like [we could develop] a large community, especially if we can get to higher levels,” Shah said. “We can get somewhere with this.”