Model UN Conference and Fundraising Success
Written By Dr. Eddie Mienie, Executive Director, Strategic Studies Program & Partnerships and Associate Professor of Strategic & Security Studies
Over 300 students across the University of North Georgia (UNG) have participated in Model UN activities through the Model UNG club. Model UN conferences are a real-time simulation of negotiation, diplomacy and resolution writing patterned after the committees and issues in operation at the present time in the United Nations. Students write position papers of their state’s position on a particular issue, then spend 3 days discussing and negotiating the creation of and voting on join resolutions to tackle these real-world problems. Delegates engage in round the clock negotiations in two formats to communicate and build coalitions to draft and approve multilateral resolutions — 1) a moderated caucus (time-limited formal speeches), and 2) unmoderated caucuses (longer time informal negotiations)
Model UN conferences serve as exceptional co-curricular experiences for future careers in diplomacy and government service, enabling UNG students to develop real-life negotiation skills, improve critical thinking and public speaking, and further develop the research and writing skills needed to understand and solve large global problems. Each year, Southeast Regional Model United Nations (SRMUN) conferences draw more than 1000 university students from more than fifty different U.S. schools and universities, enabling UNG students to participate in an arena to develop skills in diplomacy, negotiation, critical thinking, compromise, public speaking, writing, and research.
Funds are raised through student dues ($50/semester), SGA budget requests, Departmental funds and other requests. We have raised $2,950 this past year through the Crowdfunding campaign through the UNG Foundation. This is by far our biggest fundraising success.
Student delegates participate in the Southeast Regional Model United Nations (SRMUN) annual conferences held in Charlotte in March, Atlanta in November, and the student-directed on-campus Model UN conference each February.
We have a Dahlonega club that Dr. Jonathan Miner advises and a new Gainesville club advised by Dr. Bibek Chand. Dr. Miner is also on the Board of Directors for this organization; this will be his fourth year on the Board. Dr. Miner teaches a Model UN course each fall, and all those students (about 15) go to the Atlanta conference — the other 15 are from the club, thus usually 30 total students attend this fall conference. Dr. Chand will begin teaching a Model UN courses every fall on the Gainesville campus. In the spring, less than 10 students attend the Charlotte conference based on their performance at the fall Atlanta conference. The average attendance for the on-campus conference each February is about 75 total students.
We try to accommodate as many students as possible for the fall Atlanta conference and the spring on-campus conference. The spring Charlotte conference slots are awarded to the top performers from the Atlanta conference each fall.
UNG student delegations have earned more than a dozen awards since 2014, including major awards for position paper writing (Australia and Turkey 2015; Indonesia 2019) and diplomacy (South Africa 2017; Saudi Arabia 2019) as well as individual delegate awards for students representing Syria, Guatemala, Japan, Sweden and Georgia. Overall, UNG students have represented 22 different countries at Model UN conferences since 2014. Students organize, write and direct the on-campus conference in February each year to practice the rules of operation and gain confidence in their abilities. It is open to all students and this helps recruit for the club comprised of people from all majors at UNG.