Model UN takes on role of Botswana at MUNUC

Students participated in a variety of committees (above). RBs delegates (inset) represented the country of Botswana.

Photos courtesy of Erin Cunningham

Students participated in a variety of committees (above). RB’s delegates (inset) represented the country of Botswana.

Rebecca Rusiecki, Editor in Chief

RB’s Model United Nations club took on the role of Botswana over the weekend at the University of Chicago conference. The conference kicked off  February 6 at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. Students enjoyed a weekend of committee sessions, spending free time downtown and even a delegate dance before returning home February 9.

This year, 15 students attended the conference. The club has been going to the Model United Nations of the University of Chicago (more commonly referred to as MUNUC) for several years. Erin Cunningham, who has sponsored RB’s Model UN club for two years, says that MUNUC offers students a unique opportunity to learn more about international diplomacy. The conference welcomes students not only from all over the US, but also all over the world. Though RB’s Model UN club also attended a conference at Carthage College in November, MUNUC is seen as a more intense conference.

“There’s a ton of benefits in going,” Cunningham said.  “In terms of preparation for the conference, you learn so much about the country you’ve been assigned. You learn to think about certain decisions in a way that you wouldn’t necessarily think of yourself. Trying to get into the mind of a delegate from Botswana is a huge learning experience.”

Students participated in a variety of committees. The committees discussed specific world issues, such as food shortages, decolonization and atomic energy. Three students participated in special committees, including the African Union and Historical Committees. During committee meetings students meet to discuss solutions to world issues, and, ultimately, pass a resolution paper. The committee sessions are structured to closely resemble an actual meeting of the United Nations, and parliamentary language is commonplace. In order to prepare for the conference, students had to research Botswana and the country’s opinion on world issues. Students also had to write a position paper, outlining their country’s plan to solve the issues in their committee.

“We were talking about a broad range of issues and trying to come up with resolutions for a lot of different topics,” Cunningham said.

Aside from committee meetings, students at MUNUC had free time to spend downtown. The conference also offered information sessions on University of Chicago admissions. Students also enjoyed a delegate dance on Saturday night.

“MUNUC is so nice because it’s one of the best respected Model UN conferences in the country, and it’s also so close. For us to just be able to hop on a train and be there is awesome,” Cunningham said.

RB’s Model UN club looks forward to attending MUNUC in the future and learning more about international diplomacy.

“Model UN is not just a club where you kind of hang around. You have to do work to be involved in it, and to me, it is very impressive that people are choosing to do a club that requires so much intellectual work and that they have fun doing it,” Cunningham said.