Build a Club
Getting involved with a Model United Nations or Model Congress club at your school is the best way to get involved in these programs. While you can often attend a conference as an individual, it can be a much more meaningful experience if you are able to attend with a group of your peers. If your school does not yet have a Model UN or Model Congress club (sometimes Debate clubs attend these conferences), then you should talk with your teachers about starting a club.
Here are a few pointers about how to get the process going…
Find a Teacher Partner
Perhaps the best way to start the process is to talk with teachers in your school about creating a new club. They likely know the process in your school, have the necessary paperwork, or know where to find it. Once the process gets going, they can also be very effective at helping recruit new members, too. Which brings us to…..
Recruit Friends and Peers
The best way to prove to your school administration and teachers that there is demand for a new club is to build a list of likely new members. Talk to your friends and other teachers who might be willing to build support for your club. These teachers can be great allies as you are getting everything underway.
Look for a Local Conference
One of the challenges of starting a new club is that you need a reason to exist, and a reason to hold meetings. Explore your local area and identify a one-day conference that you might be able to attend. Not only are they inexpensive, they are a great first-experience for people new to the Model UN and Model Congress experiences. Take a look at IDIA’s one-day conferences, and see if we have any in your area. If possible, choose one that is at least a month away so that you can hold some meetings and start preparing for the experience.
Start Hosting Meetings!
Model UN and Model Congress conference can be daunting, especially for first time participants. The best way to run your meetings is to run it like a mini-Model UN conference. Pick a topic, assign delegations, and host simulated debates. These sessions will help you learn the rules, build your confidence in public speaking, and help you to learn what to expect at a conference. While the rules for each conference are slightly different, they follow a basic framework. Check out IDIA’s Model UN rules here.
Once you have some meetings scheduled, reach out to the conference you are attending, and see if they might be able to send some people to help structure your meetings, talk about the process, or provide other valuable insight. IDIA travels to local schools to help start and build Model UN and Model Congress programs free of charge, if you are located in our area. Contact us to get something scheduled!