What is Model UN?

International affairs is just the tip of the iceberg

If solving the problems of the world were a pastime, why wouldn’t you take up the challenge? We hear about conflict and issues every day, ranging from climate change to poverty, government corruption and civil war. No doubt that our classes address these issues passionately, giving us the knowledge to understand and analyze important phenomena in modern society. But solving these problems? It’s a completely different ball game. 

Two years ago, a few students revived CNU’s Model United Nations organization, with a mission to provide a platform for solution-building, debate, international awareness and much more. Now, every Wednesday night in McMurran, we meet to vigorously discuss recent issues, negotiate transatlantic deals and most importantly, partake in fun, energizing debate. 

What, may you ask, are the qualifications to attend such a meeting? There are none. People with all majors and interests, those with loud voices and quiet ones can thrive in our organization. Creativity in solution-building has no prerequisites. 

We could not be more proud that last year, our delegates won six awards at a competitive, collegiate-level Model UN conference where they spoke and debated on human rights issues, gender equality in education, the future of AI and so much more. Model UN not only offers the opportunity to represent another country debating real-world issues but also participate in ‘crisis simulations,’ where delegates re-enact everything from President Kennedy’s cabinet during the Cuban Missile Crisis to an alternate reality where the Axis won the Second World War. 

From confronting the challenges of AI to launching advanced space operations, our simulations also explore the future. Imagine trying to attack your opponent’s headquarters and receiving a note back saying, “you can’t — their operations are in space.” If college is preparation for an unpredictable world, an AI sim might evoke your most creative solutions yet. 

This year, CNU Model UN is sending separate delegations of students to two regional conferences in Charlotte, NC and Williamsburg, VA. Every week, our organization grows with the passion and enthusiasm of our members, who lead by example in their classes, volunteer work and many other endeavors. 

Every semester, students ask us the question, ‘what is Model UN?’ Oftentimes, explaining the organization in a sentence or two isn’t enough, but we’ve found that through our activities — that is, by confronting global issues and striving for peace — each one of us can better come to terms with what we ourselves believe in. The repeated action of defending ideology, policy and resolutions gives us the confidence to build and defend our personal belief-system in life, even in the face of adversity. 

Essentially, our vision is for all of you to build your own vision — and be unafraid to pursue it long after your time at CNU. 

Gracious thanks, 

~Rakan Alzarqa and Kristen Ziccarelli, Staff Writers~

President and Vice-President, CNU Model United Nations

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