Club Profile: Model United Nations; think global

Model United Nations (MUN) became an official student club at MSU in the fall of 2013. Although the club is barely a year old, it has made considerable accomplishments among regional MUN clubs.

A majority of the club leadership took the class Model United Nations (PSCI 337) taught by Dr. Eric Raile in the spring of 2014. After taking the class, they joined the club to further their MUN experience and knowledge. Francis says the class covers international organizations and diplomacy, with an emphasis on the history and procedures of the United Nations.

“As an international relations major, a large part of my life is focused on international politics and events,” MUN President Francis Smiley said. “The club brings all these matters, and more, into one concentrated environment and I find that extremely satisfying.”

Last spring semester the team prepared for the Model United Nations of the Far West (MUNFW) conference, located in San Francisco. At the event the club represented both Zimbabwe and Qatar. According to Smiley, the Qatari delegation was chosen to make a speech at the opening plenary session based on the high quality of their preliminary written materials. It was one of four delegations that were chosen out of the 80 countries to make a speech. Additionally, the Qatari delegation also earned a Diplomacy Award for outstanding diplomatic skill.

For the 2014-2015 academic year, the MUN club is practicing with plans to participate at the Model United Nations conference of the Northwest in Seattle, this November. They plan on returning to the MUNFW in San Francisco in April as well, with the club’s new members.

When asked what he thought the best part of the club was, Francis replied, “The excitement of preparing and eventually attending a conference is fun. And the atmosphere of like-minded individuals discussing and debating international topics is something I find appealing.”

Currently the club holds weekly meetings on Thursdays at 6 p.m. in the Political Science Commons on the second floor of Wilson Hall. During these meetings they actively discuss international events, conduct simulations, practice parliamentary procedure and work on preparing for future conferences.

As a relatively new club on campus, MUN hopes to expand and grow this year as well as in future years. That being said, the MUN club is open to all. There is no required major or discipline, and the club is eager to have the different perspectives offered by members from different academic fields.