Clubs in the Real World


The Freedom Model United Nations team at a conference in Alexandria, Virginia on December 8.

Dana Baker

By Arnav Kumar

Freedom offers a wide range of clubs and extracurriculars, giving each one of its 2,000 students the chance to participate in an activity that he or she is passionate about it. Students often pick clubs based off of their aspirations for college and their potential careers; however, doing so can blind students to the benefits that participation in distinct clubs can provide. The clubs that seem to have the strongest ties are DECA and Model United Nations, as students have recognized the prominent intersection of business and politics.

DECA, a business and marketing organization, teaches students how to develop critical thinking skills that apply to the business world. The organization offers realistic and competitive simulations that encourage students to acquire the skills needed to develop detailed business plans and succeed in writing formal proposals. Currently, DECA offers 60 competitive events, ranging from a Quick Serve Restaurant Management event to a Fashion Merchandising Promotion Plan event.

Experience with Model United Nations becomes handy in DECA when competing in events such as the International Business Plan event, which requires participants to be cognizant of global issues affecting nations socially, politically and economically. In order to produce a quality plan, competitors must dig into trade agreements, cultural practices, demographics and political structures, which is exactly what Model United Nations delegates have to do at every competition they attend. Junior Nawreen Ahmad, who is the DECA Director of Membership, certainly believes that applying the knowledge and research from Model United Nations to DECA will be beneficial.

The applications of business and economics is also very important to Model United Nations. Model United Nations is a simulation of the real United Nations, in which students tackle real world issues from the perspective of a country or a person. The core of Model United Nations consists of debate over the best way to solve issues stemming from global problems such as organ trafficking and refugee crises. It is imperative that competitors understand the topic at hand as well as the international policies of other nations.

“I think that understanding a country’s historical values and cultural values helps us understand other individuals from other countries when we do business with them,” Ahmad said.

Ahmad also emphasizes how the material learned in classes at FHS helps prepare DECA competitors for understanding the intersection between business, international relations and politics.

“We actually did a project on how customs go as far as business meeting, because now we work with people all over the world,” Ahmad said. “I think doing research and understanding different customs better establishes relations with other countries and our businesses.”

One of the main component of Model United Nations is the creation of legislation that outlines the solutions to the global issues being presented to delegates. During a conference, delegates representing different nations come together to create “working papers” that outline international policies and regulations that countries wish to put in place. However, while these delegates always have great solutions in mind, many have no clue where the funding is going to come from.

“One of the largest places where Model [United Nations] delegates get caught up is when thinking about how to fund or finance their solutions,” former Secretary-General of Freedom Model United Nations Owen McCafferty said. “When someone is asked how they are going to pay for [their solution],  it is very important that we have an understanding as delegates where the money actually comes from. That is not something Model [United Nations] kids are good at, but it is the most important part of a solution.”

In this situation, participation in DECA could become handy for Model United Nations delegates. With DECA experience, Model United Nations competitors would have greater business and economic knowledge under their belts that will help them create more cost effective solutions.

McCafferty believes that international relations, politics and economics will forever be intertwined and will be all be very important in the future.

“I think international relations and politics are important to economic forces,” McCafferty said. “When we propose solutions for Model UN at a conference, something we have to keep in mind is the business and economic impact of externalities. That is something that is incredibly important.”