Middleton’s Model UN Team Finishes Strong at NUMUN


Charlotte Neumann (12) was awarded Best Delegate for her role as William Waldorf Astor/Buffalo Bill Cody in the Columbian Exposition 1893 event. Claudia VanBenegom (10) earned the Diplomacy Award representing Xinhua News in the Press Delegation. Lastly, Mason Bauer (11) received Honorable Mention as Liu Xiaoqi in CCP 1949. From left to right: Owen Lapcinski (9), Truman McRay (9), Luke Rogers (9), Jack Asmus (11), Leah Saleh (9), Monroe Durand (11), Claudia VanBendegom (10), Henry Dickinson (10), Charlotte Neumann (12), Dima Llanos (10), Livia Machado (11), Mason Bauer (11).

Mackenzie Sloan

On April 6, Middleton High School’s Model UN Team left for the Northwestern University Model United Nations (NUMUN) tournament hosted at Northwestern University. 

After a long drive, the team began the three-day tournament full of excitement. The team finished their last conference of the season with a win, earning the Distinguished Small Delegation Award. This award is given to recognize the outstanding performance of a team as a whole. 

NUMUN was the first in-person tournament for many members of the team and the last for a few seniors, including President Charlotte Neumann. Overall, roughly a quarter of the team received some form of an award at the tournament. The club showed extreme dedication as many of the upperclassmen sacrificed attending their prom in order to participate.

Coming into the competition, many underclassmen did not know what to expect. The team has seen many of its in-person events canceled this year and was thrilled to finally have an in-person congress.

Neumann explained that the club adapted well to moving online, but there was an element to in-person participation that last year could not capture. After having to adapt to COVID-19 during her first term, she believes the club has come out stronger.

“It’s definitely been really nice being back in person because there is an element of putting your placard in the air and actually getting together with other people to discuss things,” said Neumann. “I feel like we’re really reaching our full potential.”

In the past, Model UN had been very “rules-heavy” during the first half of the season, providing less support in the second half as competitions begin and members become busy. Now the team has made great efforts toward providing more assistance as the season progresses. This approach has helped the team build up their retention rates as they look towards next year’s season.

Many beginners took on events based on the United Nations, while advanced members participated in the Midnight Crisis. After debating for eight to nine hours total during the day, members were released to rest until midnight when they were surprised by a last-minute crisis. The group worked on passing emergency directives until three in the morning, with less than twenty minutes to respond to each issue. 

“I definitely had some stress points in my committees and part of Model UN is learning how to manage that stress,” Neumann said. 

Still, most of the stress was finding where to eat in between competitions, Neumann explained. Many sessions went nearly back-to-back, leaving students to rush to and from a nearby Panera. Her advice was to bring camping food and have a ready-to-go meal on hand to avoid any delays.

The club is excited to help anyone who is interested in joining. Model UN helps develop great communication skills and can be a chance to learn new things. The club is ready to teach anyone, no matter what experience they have. 

Neumann explained that everyone is a little confused at first, but the club is filled with lots of members who are excited to share what they know. Neumann’s message to anyone interested in joining is “you’ll find that you learn a lot and you meet a lot of nice people” during the Model UN experience.

For those looking to join next year, more information can be found on the Model UN website.