Model UN Programs have strength in numbers. The more delegates you register for a conference, the more likely you are to get better committee assignments. Additionally, a bigger team can have other benefits, like additional school funding. But how do you grow your team? Attracting new members to a growing program can be difficult, but there are ways to do it successfully.
- Always take advantage of club fairs
Depending on your school, there may be anywhere from one to four opportunities to show off your club per year. And, also depending on your school, many clubs make treat this a joke. Your burgeoning program, however, will not. Always make sure you have a desk manned with your most charismatic delegates, and make sure they turn those MUN skills on!
If you’re school doesn’t run club fairs… not to worry! Make them yourself! Anything can be a club fair if you’re brave enough. Have a few delegates walk around at lunch, mention it to people at sports games; essentially, make marketing for Model UN part of your daily routine. This might sound silly, but I’ve seen it employed successfully in the past.
- Tell Your Friends! (No, seriously, all of them)
Model UN takes a certain kind of person. Some people absolutely love the thrill of debate, the rush of resolution writing, and simulating the spirit of diplomacy! Others… can find it quite boring. Now, it is very likely many of your friends can fall in the latter category. However, you never know until you try. So invite as many of your friends as possible to join the club! Remind them they can always drop it after two weeks if it bores them. And you know what? Many will. But that’s okay, because some won’t. Remind your friends they don’t have to even go to the conferences! In my experience, this quickly evolves into “Just try out the a one-day conference!” and soon enough, you’ve got yourself a new power delegate.
When your club is expanding, you need numbers above all else. You would be surprised how many programs spend time only looking for future IR majors. Its okay if your team isn’t perfect right away. It is also okay if not everyone in your program sees it as their passion. Not everyone loves MUN like you do—that’s why you’re on this site.
- Résumé & Experience Building!
Model UN is a fantastic tool to build experience which can be reflected on a résumé. Going into a college interview with stories about negotiating policy papers on international issues gives you a way to demonstrate your academic commitment, if done properly. Furthermore, personal and school awards demonstrate an excellence at a chosen activity.
I already explained how you should tell all of your friends, but you know what’s better than that? Telling their parents. Parents love hearing about the next big thing that may help their kids into college. I can’t even tell you how many dinner conversations I’ve had with parents starting with “You went to China for model what now?” and ending with them saying “You need to try this out!” to their son or daughter.
The best part of all this, is that it’s not just resume building. Model UN builds real, marketable skills that are applicable in high school, college, and beyond. I use the skills I learned in Model UN every day. Frankly, I don’t even realize it sometimes. This is something to mention when explaining it—especially to parents.
A lot of these might seem simple. But, the fact is, too many schools completely ignore them. When my schools program was first starting out, I ingrained these three principles in all my officers’ heads. By October, our club size had doubled. So if you follow these tips, and use turn those resume building talents on, your team will grow in no time. I’ve seen it before!
Evan Torrisi is the All American Alumni-Associate for the North-East. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org