by Rima Thompson
Interested in politics? Would you like to visit The Big Apple and participate in a forum with other college students that share your concerns about the world?
Want to experience a global education? Well then Model United Nations is the club for you.
Last month representatives of MUN held a meeting in the Student Center.
It was an opportunity to inform prospective members about the club.
While most students join the MUN as a club, it is also available as a class.
There are no requirements to join, but once accepted, members must write two papers, one a research paper and the other, a position paper on an assigned country and topic.
Currently the club has about 30 members and is co-chaired by seniors Victoria Pua and Jennifer Contreras.
MUN was developed to give those students interested in learning about issues concerning countries within the United Nations a chance to not only discuss them, but to also possibly find solutions that are sent in the form of bills to the UN’s committee.
The process of assignment starts with each school listing at least seven countries they would prefer to research.
These countries can be in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and various other parts in the world.
The only criteria is that the country must be part of the UN.
The assignment of a country is not guaranteed, but that is not a bad thing according to Contreras.
“Any country we get will be an awesome country to have the experience of learning about,” she said.
Once a country is assigned, each delegation is required to research its specific country and topics concerning the assigned country.
After the completion of research and writing, the club chooses members to represent them at the annual national conference in New York City.
The 2002-2003 conference will be held April 15 to 19.
The conference is a gathering of schools involved with MUN who get together to act as delegates from the country they were assigned.
The delegates are assigned to different sub-committees in which they are given topics such as human rights, globalization or education.
These committees must then draft up resolutions to solve the problems of their specific issue.
“It’s really cool,” Contreras said. “You get to brainstorm and learn how to compromise with other schools and countries.”
Pua agreed with Contreras and added, “It’s important for us to know what is going on in the world, even if it’s just one nation.”
The conference members will spend most of their days attending committee meetings.
At the conclusion, the committees will vote on the different bills proposed and those that are passed are then sent to the UN.
According to Contreras, by the time the national conference rolls around, the club membership dwindles to about eight to 11 members.
This is something she and Pua hope to fix.
“Throughout the year we want to have school events to get more students involved and expand our club,” Contreras said.
MUN is not a school-funded club and gets most of their money from fundraising.
All members are required to participate in the fundraising events such as car washes, movie tapings and bake sales.
The money raised is then coupled with donations from generous professors and ULV educational departments.
Those interested in becoming a part of the club or in learning more about MUN can contact Jennifer Contreras at (909) 392-0128 or at email@example.com and Victoria Pua at (909) 392-6244 or firstname.lastname@example.org.