Middle schoolers find solutions to world problems during SAMUN

TROY, Ala. (TROJANVISION) — As countries around the world face various problems and issues, a group of middle schoolers have been working to find solutions.

Usually it is up to politicians and diplomats to try and solve their countries’ various problems. However, at the Southeast Alabama Model United Nations Assembly (SAMUN), it was up to middle schoolers.

Five middle schools from across the Wiregrass represented 11 different countries, including the United Kingdom, the Solomon Islands, and Lesotho.

“It is a writing competition for middle school students,” said Dr. Robin Bynum, the chairmen of the SAMUN committee. “They have to write a persuasive writing piece which is their resolution. They represent a country and identify the needs of that country through that resolution.”

Each student delegation researched and put forward an issue their chosen country currently faces. Situations included the climate crisis in New Zealand and water scarcity in Pakistan. Students then presented the resolution to the assembly, where their peers decided whether or not they should help.

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Not only does the simulations teach research and writing skills, but according to Bynum, presenting to and negotiating teaches students to work together to find a solution.

“Model UN is understanding how to be a diplomat, how to work cooperatively with the people within your delegation, also how to work with other nations so you negotiate and solve a problem.”

Robert Pickens, a student from Brewton Middle who represented the United Kingdom, told TrojanVision that he learned many valuable skills from participating in Model UN.

“I’ve learned how to work with people about things, how to do something great for another country, and how to be with people you don’t know.”

The SAMUN Assembly has been held every year at TROY since Bynum brought it to campus over 35 years ago.