Model United Nations
The Model United Nations is a simulation for college students. They represent specific countries that are members of the United Nations and attend meetings of various UN bodies namely, the General Assembly, the Security Council, General Assembly subcommittees, the World Health Organization, and many more. The committees included in 2017 were: General Assembly, Security Council, First Committee, UN Environment Program, World Health Organization, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and the Committee on Science and Development. The Model UN of the Far West, or the MUNFW is one of many in the country and attracts almost 500 students from different schools in California, Arizona, Washington as well as from abroad.
Delegates represent the interests of their chosen countries as well as the interests of the international community. For 2017, the countries represented by the CSUEB delegation were Angola, Denmark, Pakistan and Peru. Each student is a member of at least one committee. In the committee sessions, the delegates from the different countries/schools make decisions that would govern the international committee. But this is not easy. The delegates have to negotiate, bargain and form coalitions in order to pass resolutions. It is similar to what legislators do in the U.S. Congress who give their positions on certain bills and then negotiate and try to come up with laws that, hopefully, take into consideration the needs of the whole United States and not just a few states or interest groups.
Students learn many things. First, they learn about how international issues, ranging from nuclear proliferation to climate change, affect specific countries. Second, they develop an appreciation for the problems faced by other countries as well as for the solutions that other governments undertake. Third, they learn about how tan international organization strives for improving the lives of people everywhere and olnly for a chosen few. Because the U.S. faces similar issues as the rest of the world, it is important to have good knowledge of the issues so that students can, in the future, advocate for matters that they deem critical for their public representatives to work towards resolving. And because the U.S. cannot do everything on its own, understanding how other countries, other people view the different issues could, hopefully, help us develop solutions that are mutually beneficial.
The students also learn transferrable skills that they would need for any kind of career that they pursue. These skills include making oral presentations, debating, negotiating, building and working in groups, writing country profiles and policy papers, acting in a professional conference. During the conference, students are also provided with a crash course on writing and formatting policy statements in line with the standards of the real United Nations.
Many students form friendships and networks. Sometimes they meet them again in the next MUNFW conference or maybe they meet them in other school functions. Regardless, this is a memorable experience for the students.
If your group's papers, which are submitted before the conference, and participation are exceptional, all your hard work will be recognized. CSUEB's delegates have managed to win several certificates for their exceptional representation of their countries. In 2017, CSUEB students won three country delegation certificates! A new record! As you can see on the picture to the left, they were happy. You can put in your resume that not only did you represent your school in the Model UN but you can also tell prospective professors or employers that your group won certificates which signal to them they high quality of your work.
You have to be enrolled in POSC 3550, "The United Nations and World Community" where you will prepare your country profiles, policy statements and resolutions before the conference. Students have to demonstrate that they have the skills and the sense of responsibility needed to be successful if they are to be included as official school delegates to the conference.
Other than enrolling for POSC 3550, you don't pay for anything else. Your participation is funded by A2E2 funds from the school which are partly from some of the small fees that are included in your tuition. The school takes care of registration, membership and lodgings. You will also be reimbursed for your meals at reasonable amounts. So you not only get to fulfill your POSC requirement and get a grade, but you are also part of this amazing experience. Plus, you can take the curse twice so you can use one POSC 3550 for your major requirement and the other for an upper-division GE requirement.
We also have a student organization, UN Associates, that works with us. We hope you can join that organization as well as this course. If you have any questions, contact Dr. Maria Ortuoste.
Here's what some students have to say:
"Attending the conference like MUNFW is one of those things that define what the college experience is supposed to be about. I met people from around the world that share the same passions as me." - Nigel Quadri, 2016 delegate
"I also felt very proud about representing CSUEB at this conference, and it also felt great to be one of the nations that won at this conference. It was a great learning experience and I think it is something that I will never forget." - Tarundeep Singh, 2016 and 2017 delegate
"This UN class was one of the best class I've ever had. I already miss you guys! ... I wish you all the best and thank you for being part of this amazing American journey." - Giye Mun, 2017 delegate
"You get a lot of appreciation for people who do this for a living - it is stressful; it is a lot of hard work. You understand the complexities involved. [You learn] listening, compromise, sympathy. Those are all things that all professions need." - Lance O'Dell, 2017 delegate
"This will help in professional development in terms of "being more assertive" on what I want. Different people here from different schools so going up to different people, talking to them ... and less scared to talk to people and less shy about it." - Carolina Reyes, 2017 delegate
Model UN of the Far West Annual Conference 2018
Theme: "The Power of the Powerless: Strengthening Vulnerable Populations"
Committees: General Assembly, Security Council, Second Committee, Fourth Committee, Committee 34, Human Rights Council, Council of the Status of Women.