Rutgers Model United Nations (RUMUN) is among the largest and most established conferences in the New York-New Jersey Model UN circuit. Hosted by students from Rutgers University of New Jersey, this conference sets itself apart from its counterparts as it is not directly sponsored by the university itself, but rather by a non-profit organization–IDIA–housed on the New Brunswick campus.
IDIA partners with Rutgers students in order to create the best possible delegate experience. While Rutgers students–chairs, Secretariat members, and crisis staffers alike–work integrated with the delegates to ensure a high quality of debate, IDIA handles the logistics of the conference. All event planning, including components like venue, educational seminars, and delegate registration, falls beneath the jurisdiction of IDIA. The result is inspiring: an flawlessly smooth conference experience in logistical planning integrates beautifully with academic excellence.
Upholding this legacy of RUMUN’s eminence is Julianne Dela Cruz, Secretary General of RUMUN 2020. Throughout her undergraduate years, Dela Cruz has engaged with RUMUN’s conference administration through a plethora of different roles and positions. Dela Cruz brings a fresh perspective to Rutgers Model UN by representing the world of STEM and healthcare, as opposed to the abundance of Political Science and International Relations majors that tend to populate collegiate Model UN. Now, in her final year at Rutgers University, she plans to lead RUMUN to another year of decisive success.
“Above all else, we prioritize education as our central goal. Delegates are more than participants in a simulation: they are future leaders.”
In support of the emphasis on education, the RUMUN Secretariat chooses an annual conference theme to link together all committee offerings. In essence, the common thread which connects each committee–be it crisis, General Assembly, or specialized agency–proposes a new perspective or way of thinking for delegates to explore. An example of a past RUMUN theme is “The Dichotomy of Partnerships.”
In addition to the educational component, the implementation of an annual theme encourages more inter-committee interactions.
“We typically see crisis delegates operating in a completely different universe than G.A. participants. The theme provides opportunities for collaboration on a larger scale.
Dela Cruz adds that one of the Secretariat’s central goals is ensuring that “all delegates, whether they be in a G.A. or a crisis committee, feel fully immersed.”
Both the annual theme and the emphasis on education are equally integrated into the awards decision-making process. In this regard, RUMUN leverages its history of distinction as to redirect the awards-based Model UN towards education and the pursuit of global citizenship.
Rutgers Model United Nations intends to postpone the conference until next December, with the potential for a new virtual conference in the fall. This year’s theme for the conference, which analyzes the evolution of global issues and seeks ways to improve upon past mistakes, is one more pertinent than ever. The committees and speakers at this conference iteration will accordingly be a reflection of the ever-changing world surrounding the fight for human rights and civil liberties. This year’s annual theme will no doubt challenge attendees to seek creative solutions that have yet to be proposed to the global stage.