I spent last Thursday through Sunday staffing for NYUMUNCV, a fun, fast-paced, stressful college Model UN conference. As veteran Model UN-ers know, the most difficult part of Model UN isn’t the months of prior research or speaking intelligently in front of a room of strangers on the spot. The hardest part is explaining to those people what exactly “Model UN” is.
Despite this, I am going to attempt to explain it.
NYUMUNC is a 13-way crisis with 13 committees of delegates who come from the best universities across the country to compete. NYU is special in our conference, because it is the only conference in the country that can handle the capacity of 13 committees operating all at once. The nature of the conference is that the actions of one committee directly affect the other 12. For example, if the Peru committee declares a civil war, the Colombia, Brazil, and Bolivia committees will most likely be affected by a large influx of refugees, and those committees will have to deal with their own problems as well as this new issue.
This weekend has been unexpectedly wonderful. Preparations began in September, and months and months of meetings and research seemed boring and unfruitful. But all that time paid off. The Secretariat, the Crisis Directors, the Chairs, and the staff were all remarkably well prepared. We knew the topic front to back and we were looking forward to whatever insane requests the delegates would throw at us.
All of this is a love letter to Model UN. I’ve been involved with this great institution since my sophomore year of high school, and admittedly, it catapulted my interest into my majors: economics and politics. Not only is it the best forum to meet people from all over the world interested in global politics and issues, my best memories, my best friends, and my highest achievements can all be attributed to Model UN.
Over the last few years, I have learned more about international economics, humanitarian issues, disarmament disputes, global relations, and the spirit of human competition than I could have ever learned in a classroom. I’ve discovered passions for new topics, and I’ve improved my networking and public speaking skills far better than in my mandatory Speech class in high school.
I hope that over the next few years at NYU I will continue to adore Model UN and thrive in it. I see seniors bid farewell to Model UN with tears just shy from falling, and I can already feel myself missing this immensely after I graduate. But fingers crossed, I won’t just be modeling UN anymore, I’ll be doing it for real.