Brock’s Model UN brings international issues to campus

Photo Credit: John Dotse

Photo Credit: John Dotse

Brock University’s Model United Nations (MUN) club is getting ready for their first meeting of the new school year and they are hoping to bring in some fresh faces.

MUN is an experiential learning club, open to students from all academic faculties and programs here at Brock. Their first meeting for the 2019/2020 school year will be held this Thursday, September 19, from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. in STH215 and will be at the same time and place every week throughout the fall and winter semesters.

“What we do is we simulate what goes on at the United Nations (UN) when they are sitting,” said Xavier Alexy, the director of communications for Brock MUN. “So members will come in for weekly meetings and at those meetings we will select a UN committee whose agenda we want to focus on as a club. We then research those issues and we discuss and debate them in order to come up with solutions to those issues together in a really organic way.”

Last year, according to Alexy, one of the many topics that they looked at was denuclearization and dealing with nuclear waste that is found around the world today.

Last year the club had an active membership of approximately 70 students. Additionally, they were awarded BUSU Club of the Year in 2018. Despite their size, Alexy says that the club feels much smaller due to its inclusive and welcoming nature.

“Once you get to know everybody there it really is a great time. The people who run [the club] are focused on making you better as an individual and seeing you succeed which you can feel. I’m not sure how many speeches I made in the group that I completely botched and still people would encourage me and cheer me on.”

The club’s organization is similar to the UN, though instead of having a single Secretary General, they have two. Kailene Jackson and Nour Hage, Brock MUN’s Secretaries-General, are both eager to see new faces make it out to this week’s information session.

“Brock’s Model United Nations club is an amazing experiential learning opportunity for students of all experience levels and academic backgrounds. [Brock MUN] provides students the opportunity to learn about international politics and diplomacy, international institutions, as well as global issues,” said Jackson. “[MUN] is an amazing way to get involved in international issues, expand your skill sets and make friends for life, not to mention that it looks great on a resume.”

In regards to the experiential aspect of MUN, Alexy explained how at their weekly meetings they look at a committee agenda item currently being discussed at the UN for them to tackle collectively. This is then done through a great deal of research, which is then incorporated into policy proposals called resolutions. These resolutions are then read aloud at the meeting and are voted on by the club, as is done in the UN proper.

“Brock MUN is a phenomenal way to get in touch with and meet students from across different years and programs at Brock,” said Hage. “The networking and friendship building alone that comes from being involved with such a large club is worth coming out for, as I’m sure many of our experienced delegates would agree. Not to mention all the other fantastic benefits that BMUN provides, including the six day trip to New York City.”

At the end of March the club takes a trip to the UN headquarters in New York City for an international conference with other university MUN groups from across the globe. Any active members interested in attending are able to go on the trip once they can cover the associated fees.

According to Alexy, upon joining the group last year, he was astonished at how tangible being a part of MUN made international issues and affairs. Thinking about the UN, he said, it always felt like something out of reach, but MUN and especially the New York City trip made it all feel a bit more practical and real.

For more information on Brock Model United Nations, you can find them on ExperienceBU and on Facebook @BrockMUN and Instagram @munbrock. Individuals interested in attending the information session on Thursday, Sep. 19 are encouraged to RSVP on Facebook.

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