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The Responsibility of Upperclassman in MUN

When delegates enter their senior year, their primary goal shifts from snatching awards and accumulating more committee experience to passing the torch of leadership down to incoming freshmen and sophomores. Juniors and seniors aren’t intended to completely give up on their own MUN career; rather, their responsibilities expand in order to inhabit the role of a master teaching their younger apprentices.

A master carpenter still builds tables, chairs— does his job— but simultaneously instills in his apprentice the means to do the same with equal success and expertise.

While not every junior and senior may feel equipped with the means to properly teach, experience is the ultimate guide when it comes to Model UN. Older delegates should use dedicate their time before graduation to teaching the younger delegates and instilling in them the proper strategies as well as a stronger, more fundamental understanding of MUN’s importance and use.


As we age, our responsibilities inevitably change. For instance, a college graduate will no longer have to fret over minuscule grades and assignments; meanwhile, they will shift their responsibility to finding a job or buying property. But life is hardly a series of isolated milestones, and in fact our responsibilities morph more gradually than suddenly. In that same example, some students move off-campus by their junior year, and others have paid positions lined up by the time they graduate.


Similarly, as delegates age–from freshman to sophomore and so on–their responsibilities change, too. Yet similar to any turn in one’s goals, the addition of new obligations does not negate the responsibility to uphold what came first. So while different clubs vary in structure, arguably every delegate’s immediate role in Model United Nations is to win. When delegates age, however, that primary role remains but with the added purpose of training the younger delegates.


Model UN can be a confusing activity. The entire nature of parliamentary procedure can take younger delegates dedication and time to learn. When are you allowed to talk? What qualifies a quorum? When is a ? majority necessary? Moreover, delegates must learn proper strategy skills. When is the right time to speak? How can one piece blocs together through compromise? All these questions and more are ones that infrequently come naturally to new delegates.


Furthermore, aging delegates can use the experience of teaching for their own personal gain, too. Think back to the master carpenter and his apprentice: a wizened master will still do his job–build chairs, tables, shelves–but will take extra time in order to cater to the younger apprentice.

Time and prioritization are thus granted to each, which provides an opportunity to enhance the master’s expertise while simultaneously passing down the trade to the apprentice. Mutual gain is almost unavoidable.


While it may seem daunting to train younger delegates when you yourself don’t feel like an expert, the act of simply passing down information (assuming that you possess it) is hardly a grueling assignment. Not only will you undertake a selflessly rewarding task, but you will improve your peers and the club collectively! It is the role and responsibility of every upperclassman delegate to do what is within their power to train the next generation.

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