5 Steps to Hosting Your First MUN Club Meeting

by Claire Wyszynski on December 21, 2017

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Model UN has something for everybody. Knowledge of world events, public speaking, formal writing, cultural awareness, and new friendships represent just some of the advantages of the activity. Despite the educational opportunities, many clubs in their infancy don’t have regular club meetings to grow to the team and teach MUN related skills. Perhaps you’re excited to start motioning for moderated caucuses but lack experience; or, like me, you returned from a MUN Institute summer session with a reinvigorated passion for bloc building, hoping to share this passion with peers- but you’re unsure where to start. Here are five simple steps you can take to initiate your first MUN club meeting, be it the first of the season or the first for your team.

Promote, promote, promote

MUN fosters incredible experiences unparalleled by other clubs. Classmates and potential delegates, however, will never know this without effective promotion! At least two weeks before your first meeting, focus on bringing as much awareness to the upcoming club meeting as possible. If your first meeting is soon enough to not allow adequate time to get the word out (during the first week of school, for example), promote your club outside of school hours. For instance, my teammates and I share information about MUN to recruit future delegates at our school’s freshman orientation in the fall. At MUNI, advisors suggested distributing invitations to future club members in colored envelopes to create buzz for the group. Small measures like these can foster interest and increase club membership. At my school, my friends and I also advertise our MUN club via loudspeaker morning announcements and reminding slides at lunchtime. Whether it’s posters, an advertisement in your school paper, or a post on social media, strive to generate excitement for the event.

Start a conversation

At your first meeting, aim to be as welcoming to new delegates as possible. New members might be intimidated or unfamiliar with existing members of the club, underscoring the importance of introducing yourself and maybe even other officers or members. Don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to someone you have never approached before; finding common ground builds team relationships and will encourage first-time club members to return in the future.

Introduce the United Nations and MUN

Some new members may be unfamiliar with the purpose of the United Nations and Model UN, and introducing both organizations can inform first-timers and refresh returning delegates. A foundational knowledge of the UN’s formation, structure, and current endeavors can be taught to bolster a deeper understanding of world issues and success in Model UN. For this, you can use a video (there are plenty on the internet), short skit, or brief presentation. I would caution against teaching procedure or strategy just yet, though. The first meeting remains crucial to establish club membership and rapport, but you should aim to avoid overwhelming first-time members with too much new information.

Look to the future

At the conclusion of your meeting, thank members for coming. Consider ways to encourage first-timers to return, or how to pave the way for later delegate training. You might ask members to sign up for a two-week, introductory conference training program, or join a Remind group for MUN notifications. Some delegates I encountered at MUNI shared that they featured new members on their club’s Instagram page to welcome them, for example.

Be passionate and be yourself

Finally, as cliche as this step may sound, convey your passion for MUN! Your peers will appreciate an honest and open introduction to a new club and being genuine will encourage first-timers to return.

Best of luck to delegates, new and returning, sharing their experience or starting clubs fresh this year!

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