Club Feature: Model UN

17 members of WOU's Model UN club pose in Model UN sweatshirts in the airport.

WOU’s Model United Nations, or Model UN, is an extracurricular activity that allows students to learn about international relations and diplomacy in a scholarly setting. The club includes “[discussions of] Model UN events, conferences, and current events. We sometimes do workshops to help learn the process and improve our speaking and writing skills.” Recently, we spoke with the co-presidents of WOU’s Model UN club, Amber Holland and Matt Stefansky, who let us know a little more about the club. 

Club members stated that “Model UN is a great way to make friends, travel and learn.” Members have the opportunity to travel around the world to participate in conferences. In the past, the club has traveled to Switzerland and San Francisco, and will be heading to both Tokyo and back to San Francisco later this school year. 

Four members of the club pose at a conference, underneath a colorful ceiling.
Club members at a conference

When asked about the skills a member can gain from participation in the club, skills like “collaboration, speaking, formal writing, research, negotiation” were mentioned. Club members who attend the conferences “are able to network with students, faculty, and international leaders from all around the world.” These skills are easily transferable to other areas of study and/or employment, and can strengthen resumes or CVs. 

We also had a chance to ask the co-presidents about their favorite memories from their time in Model UN.  Amber Holland said that her favorite experience was “going to the Geneva UN Headquarters during a conference in Switzerland. Our resolutions were even sent UN staff for review.” Matt Stefansky responded that he “was the UK in General Assembly at San Francisco when South Korea pulled me aside and asked me to step into another room where a group of delegates made me an offer on policy. They couldn’t have made the resolution without me and because of it we ended up enacting the first document of its kind.”

As well, Model UN holds events around campus occasionally. Most recently, they held a lecture by Warren Binford, titled “4 Days in Clint.” This lecture focused on Binford’s experiences within border facilities, and her interviews with over 70 children. Keep an eye out for some of the events Model UN will be hosting with International Club, which will be posted on the WOU event calendar.

Speaker Warren Binford stands in front of a large crowd.
Warren Binford during the “4 Days in Clint” presentation

There is no limit to how many members the club can have, and they currently have about 25 members. As for experience, the club welcomes “anyone that is interested in conferences or even just wanting to make new friends! No previous experience is required.” If you’re concerned about a large time commitment to the group, it was mentioned that group members tend to spend about one hour per week in meetings, and conferences only add about 2-3 hours a week to a member’s schedule. 

If you’re interested in participating in Model UN, you can visit the club’s Instagram or you can email woumun@mail.wou.edu for more information. The club’s co-presidents are happy to discuss the club with potential members. 

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