Starting a new Model United Nations Club

Kevin Roe — Secretary General

November 16, 2019

Actively participating in Model United Nations has several benefits a student will appreciate for the rest of their life. However, most of these advantages are realized when a student is part of a group of like-minded individuals, and the easiest way for one to fully enjoy Model United Nations is by joining or creating a MUN club, which may be offered at your high school. However, in the instance a MUN club does not exist and you are passionate about creating one, the PacificMUN Secretariat team would like to offer some tips to achieving your goals.

Finding Interest

Often, schools do not have a Model United Nations club because of the lack of awareness of the activity. It is imperative to develop eagerness among the student body for creating a Model United Nations club. When enthusiasm develops and there is a body of students who are interested, the school will be more willing to support your MUN club, and your club will thrive.

There are several methods one can generate interest. Talking with your friends, making posters, and even finding others in your school who already do MUN are all excellent ways of generating interest for your club. However, running a club is a very strenuous task that requires several individuals to help make the club work. Find a team to help you lead your MUN club, including a VP, Secretary, Co-Head Delegate, etc. Once there is enough interest, approach an administrator at your school.

Persuading your School Administration

Most administrators are more eager to support ideas when they have a clear picture of the item you are proposing to them. When presenting the idea for a Model United Nations club, it is imperative that you have everything in order before you present the idea to the school. In order to properly inform your school’s administration, please consider questions such as what benefits the club may bring to your school, what resources you’ll need, and who will help you run the club. However, as all schools are different, please make sure to follow the guidelines of your school on how to set up an extracurricular club and make sure your club meets every requirement.

Finding a Sponsor Teacher

Even though a sponsor teacher is not required for smaller delegations at PacificMUN, they are crucial for your club to thrive and opens up more conferences a delegation is able to attend. When finding a sponsor teacher, find a teacher who you believe is passionate in an area of history, diplomacy, or any sort of the many fields that MUN lies in. A sponsor teacher is crucial to serve as a mentor to you and your team, but make sure to recognize the huge time commitment it takes to be a sponsor teacher as the sponsor teacher voluntarily gives up weekends to supervise students at a Model UN conference. Make sure to inform the basics to him/her behind Model UN, their duties, and ascertain that they are ready to take up the challenge.

Find a space for your club

Ensure that you have a place for club weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly club meetings; such as a classroom (preferably the same one as your sponsor teacher’s). Remember, if you are planning to do a simulation of MUN every so often, you may need a space that is large, has enough desks and chairs; but also a place where students feel safe to debate freely.

Club Materials

In order for you to run mock sessions smoothly, you will need materials for you and your club to use. For placards, we recommend asking your club members to donate old placards to the club, folding paper to make a placard, or invest in printing placards for the club. Gavels may simply be from a club member who won their gavel at a conference, or can be substituted for the chair banging their hand on the desk to emulate the sound of a gavel.

Marketing

Now that you have all your logistics and resources down, you can start marketing thoroughly! Some methods to begin recruiting members include: advertising at your clubs day (some schools have this), creating flyers/handouts that advertise the benefits of joining MUN, and announcing it on the PA (announcements).

Make sure to set up a communications spreadsheet with the contacts of your members. We suggest creating an online group (i.e Facebook) so that you can post updates, staffing opportunities, or notifications on the next mock session.

After several meetings and a mock session, gauge the strengths and weaknesses of your club members, and spend the following meetings improving on the observed weaknesses. If your school club requires assistance, please contact our delegate affairs at [email protected] to sign up for training sessions run by our Secretariat team. Also, please read over the articles posted on PacificMUN’s Outreach Programme.

Finding a Conference to Attend

It’s important to go to at least one conference per year to ensure that your club maintain healthy growth; as members would like to see the results of their hard work and training. We highly suggest attending PacificMUN 2020.

We hope this article has informed you on how to start a new MUN club.