Students attend Spanish Model UN Conference

Riley O'Connor, Staff Writer

Recently, 40 students from BSM’s Español para Hispanohablantes class attended the Spanish Model United Nations Simulation as a part of the curriculum. This was a conference held in Minnesota where high school students around the state get to act as a delegate for a country they were assigned to.

The entire conference takes place exclusively in Spanish, and students are judged on their speaking abilities. Each year, students acting as representatives for different countries come together to discuss and propose solutions to a global issue. This year’s topic was the refugee crisis.

A few days before the students attended the event, a student named Abresha Ibraimi at the University of Minnesota, who has worked and volunteered at the conference in previous years, came to give the students tips and talk to them about what to expect going into the day. Ibraimi talked to the class about her story of immigrating to the United States at the age of five from Macedonia close to the time of the Balkan War. Ibraimi discussed adjusting to life in a new country. “I was teased often for being different, and it didn’t help that getting to high school my locker was put in the senior hallway when I was a freshman,” Ibraimi said.

Ibraimi was one of a series of three speakers that came to the Spanish classes prior to the Model UN. The other two were from Ecuador and Argentina, who also shared their experiences in preparation for the topic of refugees. “[Having the speakers] was just a way to try to put a name and a face to what we were learning about so it wasn’t something that was abstract to the students,” Espan?ol para Hispanohablantes teacher Mr. Matthew McMerty-Brummer said.

The conference started with roll call to gather the countries together. Delegates then read the position papers they had prepared, and the day ended with unmoderated meetings called by the delegates to try and reach an agreed solution. “It was a very long day, but overall it was beneficial,” freshman John Freytag, an attendee, said.