UF's Model United Nations student organization will hold its ninth-annual GatorMUN conference at the Reitz Union this weekend.

About 440 high-school students are expected to attend GatorMUN IX this year, up about 14 percent from last year's attendance of 385. The conference breaks from a classroom setting to transform high-school students into experts on international issues, according to the GatorMUN IX website.

More students are coming because of the quality of the conference and the crisis simulation committees, said Tyler Kaub, undersecretary general of finance for UF Model UN. Committees include The Italian Anti-Mafia Commission of 1980 and the FDR Administration of 1933.

"GatorMUN is the only high-school conference that offers a whole set of dedicated crisis-stimulation committees," he said.

The committees allow students to discuss topics such as the Trojan War and sustainable water systems, said Model UN member Mirelis Martinez.

This year's conference theme is "Empowerment through Information," inspired by the United Nation's World Press Freedom Day and how technology has provided instant access to information, according to the GatorMUN IX website.

"MUN is a great way for students to come together and debate, think on their feet and create solutions to serious political, economic and social problems from the past and the present," Martinez said.