Do you think you could solve the world’s problems? Are you the kind of person that would like to at least try? Model United Nations (MUN) provides a unique opportunity for young leaders to test their negotiation, teamwork, and creative problem solving skills. For the past 49 years, a Whittier College delegation led by Professor of Political Science Mike McBride has trekked up to Burlingame, CA to tackle the international community’s toughest issues. In 2020, Whittier College will host the conference in Burlingame for over 30 colleges and universities.
Dr. McBride gave the Quaker Campus a glimpse at what to expect from the 2020 conference, and why you should consider joining MUNFW:
“I’m very pleased that the Model United Nations of the Far West (MUNFW) organization has selected Whittier to host its Model UN Conference in the spring of 2020. This will be the ninth time Whittier has served as the host school since 1994 and reflects how well regarded Whittier is by the other schools in MUNFW. I’m especially happy that we were selected for the 2020 conference, since that conference will be my 50th as part of Model UN. But even more important, hosting the conference will provide an opportunity for current Whittier students and some of our Model UN alumni to participate in its organization and operation.
“Students who are active in Model UN learn a great deal about the UN itself, a variety of international issues, the countries they represent, and those with whom they negotiate. In addition, students get experience in terms of researching the issues, preparing and delivering speeches, and writing resolutions, a process that even delegates at the real United Nations find very complex in order to find just the ‘right words’ to address very serious issues.
“Delegates, especially those who chair committees, also learn a great deal about themselves: what it is like to engage in diplomacy; how to work in a group setting to reach consensus on complex issues; and how to facilitate the work of 60 to 80 students in the committee sessions. They can then use these skills in other settings – in the classroom, in on-campus activities, or in their future careers.
“Finally, Model UN gives students the chance to meet and form friendships with a variety of people from other institutions, most of whom have similar ideas and goals. These people will be the leaders of the future, and I’m very pleased that our students will be able to interact with Whittier alumni at the conference who hold a variety of positions in international affairs including a senior policy coordinator with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, a policy analyst for UNICEF who has run emergency education programs in Afghanistan and Iraq; and the current advisor on Syria to Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. “Consequently, I hope students from all fields will take advantage of this opportunity by participating in Model UN at Whittier.”
First time participants are required to take International Organization in the spring, for more information on participating in Model UN, contact Dr. McBride (firstname.lastname@example.org).