Cooper Clubs Convene

In November, both the Model UN and Junior State of America clubs had the opportunity to go out into the community and work with other students from around Texas to discuss various global and political issues around the world. 

Early in the morning of Saturday the 12th, a handful of Model UN members boarded the Dragon Wagon bus and headed to Woodlands High to participate in the school’s third annual TWHS Model United Nations Conference. During the daylong event, students split off into various committees and simulated the goings-on of different groups within the global peacekeeping organization, complete with pre-written position papers detailing their assigned country’s stance on various issues, rounds of discussion and compromises, and a final resolution paper drafted and voted on by delegates with the aim of solving their issue. Among the World Health Organization, Special Political Organization, and INTERPOL being subcommittees offered for students to participate in, a special crisis session was included with added tension, themed around the dispute for the English throne in the year 1066. With this conference being many members’ first, Cooper’s Model UN Club held several pre-conference meetings to prepare students for the appropriate research, writing, and etiquette involved. 

MUN Team (Mrs. Machnizh)

“It’s a great opportunity,” Nikita Pakal, Skills Coordinator for the club, tells me. “We get to meet and bond with other delegates and have a fun little competition too.”Cooper students took home five awards between them, including acknowledgments for Best Speaker, Best Position Paper, and Best Delegate. The club is scheduled to attend the annual Houston Area Model United Nations (HAMUN) early next year, and meets in Mrs. Machnizh’s room every Day 5 during BPL. 

The following Saturday, a second group of Cooper students and members of the Junior State of America traveled downtown to participate in the annual Fall State convention. As a chapter of the largest student-run organization in the country, the John Cooper School’s JSA club offers students a place to discuss and debate current political and social issues from a wide variety of viewpoints. During the daylong event, students were able to engage with peers from around Texas in debates on a wide variety of serious and satirical topics— everything from how funding for public transit should be allocated to whether celebrities should be allowed to run for political office. 

“These conventions are a fantastic learning experience for our members, and a wonderful way to sharpen our public speaking skills,” says Kendall Cooper, chapter president. I myself debated for the satirical debate over which live-action adaptation of Spider-Man was superior and donned a mask of the character to prove my point in my closing speech, which was rather well received by the audience. Between debates, activism events like researching and presenting on a current global issue in a TikTok or speech, and enjoying activities around the city, Cooper students brought their all to Fall State, and were awarded six Best Speaker awards for their efforts in their debates— including one for the ol’ Spidey satirical. “This was my fourth convention at JSA,” member Alexander Harris tells me, “and I always love going. It’s a great chance to debate and learn about new perspectives.” 

For those interested in joining, the club meets every Day 8 in the Ramirez Lecture Hall and Ms. Wheeler’s room, with new members always welcome. 

In all, November was a tremendous one for students looking for opportunities to grow as speakers and leaders through their extracurriculars, and both the Model UN and JSA clubs are looking forward to offering students more opportunities and off-campus events in the near future.