By: Nyrrah Lubrun (Contributing Writer)
With a newly elected president, executive orders like the travel ban have created a clear anti-immigration sentiment. As this unorthodox presidency continues on, it is more important than ever for students to be informed. The Model Citizen’s club and Model UN aims to keep students informed about current events in the U.S. and around the world. The Model Citizen’s club prepares students to join the Brooklyn campus’ Model UN team, which participates in the Model UN Conference each academic year. Seawanhaka sat down with club president, 22-year-old political science undergrad, Jon-Anthony Avila for more details.
What is Model UN? Is it the same as the UN in Manhattan?
Avila: Model UN is a collegiate initiative, which is centrally themed around increasing student awareness of international affairs and, encouraging civic engagement. It allows institutions around the world to participate in a simulation of proceedings similar to that of the UN; allowing for membership in specific committees and the ability to present position views and develop resolutions on the behalf of a specific country. Though Model UN is similar in the theme to the actual diplomatic proceedings of the UN, the collegiate level organization is unofficial in terms of passing or presenting resolutions.
What is the goal of the club and its participating members?
The goal of members in this club is to learn the specific formalities of diplomatic analysis and expression, and to be able to establish diplomatic versatility when representing the positions of foreign countries.
How did you start to get involved? What makes you want to continue doing this?
As an active member of the sister club, Model Citizen LIU-BK, I was able to transition into the Model UN team with ease. With a pre-established interest in international affairs, most specifically related to humanitarian issues, the team offered me the ability to develop my understanding of international diplomacy and participate in the National Model United Nations Conference.
Can you describe what happens at these conferences?
Members of the Model UN participate in conferences that are modeled after the actual United Nations. Members participate in simulations that are very similar to actual UN sessions. All United Nations committees are present and active during the simulations. Members of the club interact with other students to come up with resolution to current global issues. They were together through a tough process [and have to] come to an agreement as to how [a] problem will be resolved
What recognition does the team/club get?
Model UN competes internationally, [and] has won numerous awards. As a team we have been honored to receive Honorable Delegation’, ‘Honorable Delegate,’ and have been recognized at numerous conferences for our working papers, position papers and even the speeches given at the conference.
Are you trying to broaden your membership outside of political science?
Model UN would like exposure across various majors. Currently, a majority of our membership comes from political science majors. We are looking forward to diversifying our membership major demographic by encouraging students to join from various academic backgrounds.
When does the club meet? Saturday’s 12pm-3pm and Thursdays 5pm-6pm