What is a Model United Nations Club?
A Model United Nations (MUN) club is a student organization built around the core ideals of the United Nations who seek to simulate and embody diplomacy as its core value. With a MUN club, you will have the opportunity to learn about the United Nations, other countries’ domestic and foreign policies, and yourself through simulations and engaging activities of diplomacy, compromise, and conflict resolution.
How Do You Start One?
How and when you start a new MUN club on your campus depends on your campus itself. At some institutions, new organizations require paperwork and a formal constitution. These instances usually require you to submit your information through student government where the student government must then approve the new organization. Some institutions have requirements which include needing faculty advisors, student officers and more. However, other colleges and universities will require all of the above to begin your new MUN club. The best course of action is to seek out information from your student affairs office for more specific information on what you need to do to start a club.
In addition to the paperwork required to start a club, you also need student interest. Generating student interest in your new organization can be as simple as pairing participation in the club with a global politics course. Actively learning about the world around them while simulating diplomacy is a great way to build student interest. You may also find several students who are interested who will invite their friends to an event where you can use our Model UN in a Box guide to run a practice simulation. You can also seek out student organization fairs to publicize your new group and increase student interest and engagement.
When seeking out students for your new club, Political Science majors are an excellent group to start with. However, definitely don’t neglect other majors — like Communications, Journalism, Economics, Sociology, Women’s Studies, History, etc — that would also enjoy participating in your MUN club! Other clubs on campus are also great resources for adding members. This is especially true of campus groups with similar skill usage like student government, debate, student journalists, mock trial, international student groups, and various advocacy based groups.
Funding your MUN Club
At your institution, you may be seeking funding to pay for this experience. One key in this is your administration who will ask for general benefits of participating in Model UN. You can underscore the applied learning aspects that this experience provides for your students. Additionally, participation in MUN helps students craft and build skills like collaboration, consensus building, public speaking, research, and professional writing. Each of these skills can be used by students in the classroom and their future careers. Your institution will also receive recognition by participating in MUN events/activities. If you are seeking funding in your college or university budget, talk with your dean or VP of student affairs. They may be more willing to offer you funding if you have a class bringing in tuition revenue — and we have several resources available to help you plan your course.
Other avenues for funding include seeking out alums from your institution who might like to sponsor your trip. Your institution’s foundation or advancement office may be able to help with this. Donors especially enjoy offering opportunities to underserved or Pell-eligible students. Create a campaign to fund these groups of students — particularly if your MUN club has students who meet these criteria. If you are in a larger city, reach out to local UN or global issues organizations to see if they are willing to sponsor a student or your entire group. Get creative about raising funds by chatting with folks on campus who can help you meet your goals.
You’ve Started One. Now What?
Now that you have started your club, we offer a great resource for you! The Model UN in a Box Simulation Guide is only $59.95 and includes guides to teaching MUN, caucusing and consensus building, documents, rules and procedure, and training dais staff. It also includes materials for three unique practice simulations with background guides on topics, position papers, country placards, and relevant documents. If you are a newbie to Model UN, this is a useful way to start your new club. It’s also a great way to spruce up an existing club with updated information and simulation materials. You will be able to get in a worthwhile practice simulation with limited time commitment from students.
With a club, you can also sign up for our virtual conference. If you have limited funds, this is an excellent way to get the experience of participating in a Model UN conference without having to break the bank on travel costs. It’s more cost effective for smaller institutions with limited budgets for these types of events. This also allows you to gauge student interest without investing a larger sum of money for our in-person conference.
Want to attend in-person? This is another great way to get a world-class experience. Our in-person American Model United Nations conference is held annually in Chicago. At AMUN, you will receive a top notch experience where students will simulate global diplomacy while networking and engaging with your peers. We also offer scholarships for HBCUs who wish to attend our in-person conference. If you want to attend our in-person conference but have limited interest, we have several small delegations available. Furthermore, we simulate the International Press Delegation and International Court of Justice for soloingle student participants, or for returning students who want a different simulation experience..
For more information about American Model UN and our conference, check out our About AMUN page here.