One of the best benefits from completing the 2014 All-American Model UN Conference Review is that we had the chance to research conferences that were not previously on our radar. It turns out, with no surprise, there are a number of high school Model UN conferences in the USA that are doing some really cool things, from academic programs to social activities.
Here is a list of five conferences that need your attention now! Consider putting them on your team’s roster for this year if it’s not too late or look into attending next year. List is in alphabetical order.
Arizona Model United Nations
March 20-21, 2015
Hosted at the University of Arizona, AzMUN has been hosted for 51 years! While it mainly attracts local and regional high schools, more schools from around the country should consider attending this unique conference, which features English language and Spanish language committees. One of the highlights of the conference is a combination of social and academic activities. The International Banquet features a Keynote Speaker and provides a platform for students to interact before entering committee.
Earlham College Model United Nations
January 30-31, 2015
This relatively small Illinois conference hosts around 200 students each year. Although it is not particularly competitive, it’s substantive program and policies placed it in the top 10% of conferences in the 2014 Review with an overall score of 72/100. ECMUN should be the model for all single and double day conferences: their background guides are well written, they do a great job staffing their conference and boast a 65% staff return rate, committees range from only 12-30 students, and they have a total of 9-hours of committee time.
International Institute of Buffalo Model United Nations
Do not let IIB’s Review score of 53 fool you. The folks in Buffalo have put together an incredibly unique academic conference experience that stresses more of a real world simulation. IIB lost all of the points in our background guide category because they do not provide guides to their students; however, that probably has to do with the fact that none of their committees have topics. That’s right, every committee at IIB’s Model UN is an open agenda. Instead of position papers, delegates submit agenda items for their committee to debate. Professional staff choose the best submissions to set the agenda. This extra step gives students more control over their conference experience and more accurately simulates the United Nations.
Maine Model United Nations
May 14-15, 2014
The University of Southern Maine’s Model United Nations Program has put together one of the most complete, comprehensive programs in the United States. By treating Model UN as an educational platform rather than a one-off conference, MeMUNC provides resources, scholarships, and competitions for its partner high schools. Schools in Maine can work with MeMUNC to set up their own organizations, get trained, and learn about the UN outside of their conference.
Mississippi Model Security Council
February 26-27, 2015
Mississippi State has taken the bold move to focus solely on the United Nations Security Council. Since 1979, the Mississippi Model Security Council has given high school students to opportunity to explore how the UNSC functions. Concurrent simulations of the UNSC take place over the course of the conference and deal with up to seven agenda items. The conference provides in-depth background guides for agenda topics as well as Security Council members.
Featured cover photo via MeMUNC Flickr.