Model United Nations is an educational activity steeped in tradition. For decades, Model United Nations has taught students about international relations and global politics. As our world has become more globalized and interconnected, the value of Model United Nations has increased exponentially as knowledge about foreign affairs has become an integral part of creating a well-rounded citizen.
In the spirit of this rich tradition, the Illinois Model United Nations competitive team established its high school conference with the purpose of introducing high school students to the United Nations, foreign affairs, and negotiation. Over the years, MUNI has evolved into a conference that not only values its educational roots, but also has a focus on challenging delegates by putting them in dynamic and competitive political environments. Today, MUNI blends its educational focus with healthy competition to create a challenging and intellectually stimulating experience.
While other conferences focus strictly on either education or competition, MUNI is different because of its unique conference model. Due to the fact that the members of Illinois Model United Nations spend their time on the collegiate circuit, MUNI adapts the collegiate circuit model for the high school audience. This enables MUNI to better emulate the real world while building a competitive atmosphere. At MUNI, we show the nuances of the intersections between consensus building, national policy, departmental interests (as seen in cabinets), and different negotiation styles. MUNI challenges delegates to strike the balance between individual action, consensus building, idealism, and pragmatism. However, the keyword here is balance. This balance we look for will be different for every committee, for every situation, and for every delegate. The real world and the actors in it are complex and constantly adapting to changing situations. Here at MUNI, we expect delegates to represent this fact and our staff to facilitate it.
MUNI features a diverse mix of committees. The conference offers committees for delegates of every persuasion. Thus, MUNI is committed to having a wide variety of forums for debate. Our Crisis Directors and Research Directors work closely with our Secretariat and other staffers to provide committees with various educational themes, subject matters, and time periods. In the interest of variety, we design Crisis committees, General Assembly committees, and even a Crisis-General Assembly hybrid committee. MUNI offers something for every delegate regardless of interest or skill level. This year, we will be drastically increasing our focus on instilling in delegates the educational and skill building value that Model UN offers from the time they receive their background guides through closing ceremonies. Committees are the core of our conference that makes the unique learning and skill building experience we strive to provide a reality for all who attend — and our staff are always prepared to take on this challenge.
Above all else, MUNI’s staff is its greatest asset. MUNI has been the vehicle through which students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have realized their professional and academic passions. Through offering a wide variety of positions within our organization, staffers are able to become more well prepared to achieve success in both the classroom and in the workforce. All of our staffing areas, whether it be administrative/logistics, dias, or technology to name a few, all entail an intense hire and training process all year long. We only allow those with the strongest work ethic and most passion to shape our conference.
By attending MUNI, you experience this expertise first hand. For example, the diversity and depth of simulation in our committees can be attributed to our staffers. Given that our staffers choose their committees, subject matters (in which they are often experts on and majoring in), and themes, they develop a personal stake in their simulations and work diligently to create an experience that is memorable and true to MUNI’s mission. This dedication is MUNI’s backbone and will continue to be for years to come.