By Marco Valle
At New Hyde Park Memorial High School, transitioning into a school year full of new opportunities feels foreign for many. The rise and steady decline of COVID-19 has forced many extracurricular activities at NHP to be put on pause over the past three years. This year, many students will be able to participate in club activities that they have never experienced. One of the most recent returning events is away conferences for Model United Nations and FBLA, which is an exciting aspect for students.
“I feel very excited about the upcoming switches,” junior Ethan Mehta said. “The ability to debate in-person instead of behind a computer screen is something that is very exciting and I am thrilled to be able to do. It’s a chance to meet with like-minded individuals from all sorts of backgrounds and duke it out in debate, while also building relationships.”
“However, in-person conferences have made many apprehensive, including the most experienced seniors...”
Before the reintroduction of in-person conferences for FBLA and Model UN, both clubs attended online conferences. While some students believe that online conferences have had some drawbacks, they have also expressed positive opinions about their accessibility. Online attendance allowed the advisers of the clubs to bring a larger number of students to the conferences as opposed to the in-person events. The more intricate and complex details of in-person conferences, including buses and hotel rooms, restrict the number of students that can attend.
However, in-person conferences have made many apprehensive, including the most experienced seniors. The Rutgers University Model United Nations Conference will be the first time in years that students at NHP will experience an in-person conference. Students will have the opportunity to spend the weekend with other delegates, building relationships and utilizing the skills they have learned over the past years. They will have the ability to explore a new environment and learn a sense of independence. Model UN adviser Mr. Novak, along with 25 selected students, will be attending RUMUN from November 17 to November 20. FBLA adviser Mrs. Bostrom, along with her business team, will be busy preparing for their April State Leadership Conference in Rochester.
Source from nhpmodelun
Model UN delegates are hard at work preparing to debate at in-person conferences.
“The fall conference is the kickoff conference with speakers and breakout sessions on various business topics,” FBLA adviser Ms. Bostrom said. “The spring conference is a business competition where the students in District (Chapter) compete. Students who excel at the performance events are invited to participate at the State Leadership Conference. Students who wish to compete in written events can also attend the SLC without having attended the Spring District meeting.”
“As far as it concerns, I think anytime we make a switch to something that is different or unlike what we are accustomed to there is concern over the adjustment to little things,” NHP Model UN adviser Mr. Novak said. “Since none of my members currently have been to an away conference, students have to get used to dealing with delegates face-to-face, navigating a long schedule each day, and learning how to work with partners for three days. Even though none of the students have been to an away conference, I am more than confident in both groups going to Rutgers and Boston University this year.”
While this new development for FBLA and Model UN will take some time for students to adapt, many have expressed their excitement to be able to experience in-person conferences this year.