The next Samuel L. Jackson is at Colorado State University.
Well … not quite, though he was a Model United Nations Club member.
The CSU Model UN Club held its first meeting Wednesday night, discussing the goals of President Margaret “Maggie” Benson and V.P. Maria Byers-Alexander for the following year.
This was the first meeting for the club, which was established as a replacement for a similar organization that was disbanded a few years prior.
“We’re hoping to attend a conference in Colorado, and then from there, one nationally,” Benson said. “A year from now, we’re hoping to attend a conference outside of the U.S.”
The mission statement of the organization is to present students with the opportunity to debate and work towards solutions regarding international issues from the perspective of other nations.
Additionally, students are given the opportunity to network at these conferences and events.
“You get to form connections, which could be very beneficial depending on what path you’re taking,” Benson said.
Benson and Byers-Alexander said being a part of this club is a great opportunity for developing public speaking skills, expanding on global knowledge and is also a way for students to travel internationally to conferences.
The process by which students take part in this club is through selection of a research topic and a country, learning about that topic, writing a position paper from the viewpoint of the country, attending conferences and presenting the argument, and, finally, debating to come to a resolution.
Model United Nations itself is an opportunity for students to simulate international debate and to determine a lasting solution for ongoing issues facing the world. Students take on positions in the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, the Security Council and the International Court of Justice in order to mold their arguments.
However, Benson and Byers-Alexander plan on keeping the “work” aspect in the meetings.
“It sounds kind of like a class, but it’s really not. It’s stuff we’re going to get done in the club, and it’s an incredible opportunity to learn about issues form entirely different perspectives than we would ever consider here,” Benson said. “That in and of itself is a huge advantage to joining (Model) UN, and beyond that, it’s fun.”
Byers said they hope for the Model UN club to work as a collaborative group, emulating the United Nations. She has found in her experience that while the work can be extensive, it is lessened with the help of other club members, as well as students around the world participating in conferences.
The expectations for club members include dedication, respectful behavior, investment and proper decorum at conferences, as well as meeting dues. The President and VP also ask that students attend at least three meetings this semester in order to become an official member.
“There’s a lot of things you can gain from this: travel, a lot of communication and collaboration skills, debate skills, and research skills,” Benson said. “And it looks great on a resume.”
Not to mention, becoming the next Samuel L. Jackson.
Those interested in joining the Model UN Club, the next two meetings will be: Wednesday, Nov. 15 and Wednesday, Nov. 29, both from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. They will be held in Stadium room 1215.
Collegian reporter Audrey Weiss can be reached at email@example.com or Twitter @audkward.