Everyone on campus has a fresh start at the beginning of each semester, with different work loads, schedules and potentially even new clubs. Maybe this is the semester you give UConn’s Travel Model U.N. (TMUN) team a try.
Two years ago, TMUN was founded by a group of students from the International Relations Club. In its brief three years of operation here at UConn, the team has soared up the ranks and become a competitor of long-established teams such as those from Yale, Cornell, Northeastern and Stanford. Just last fall, UConn’s team was ranked by Best Delegate amongst the top 50 schools in North America. This is an incredible achievement of a team so young. Several members of the club have even won Best Delegate Gavels within their committees at the many conferences they have attended, over competing delegates from top-10 ranked Model U.N. (MUN) schools. Five ranked schools have also expressed interest in attending UConn’s own biannual conference HuskyMUN.
Lily DeBlasio, TMUN’s current secretary, attributes her team’s success to the hard work, determination and passion of its 20 members.
“Every single member of the team is passionate about Model UN; without such commitment from the Board and general members we would not be where we are today,” DeBlasio said in an email.
For those out there who aren’t really sure what TMUN entails, here’s a quick rundown, according to DeBlasio: UConn has two Model U.N. teams. The first is UConn Model U.N. (UCMUN), which is in charge of planning a high school conference at UConn. It doesn’t compete in conferences. The second is TMUN which goes to different universities such as McGill, Georgetown and Yale to compete in conferences. This means they get to travel far and wide on four-day-long trips (usually from a Thursday to the following Sunday). Prior to heading out to the conference, the attending schools are given a list of the countries and positions they will take on in the various committees. The club then divvies out their delegates among these positions. Once at the conference, the delegates begin their roles in emulation of the United Nations.
“Each day of the conference is split up into committee sessions; during this time delegates will debate, draft directives to pass that will change the course of committee, and begin working with delegates from other schools to write a resolution addressing their committee topic,” DeBlasio said.
TMUN is open to students from all majors, not just those on pre-law tracks, and is actually fairly diverse in its members.
“Model UN is not only for political science majors; in fact, some of our most successful members are able to draw on their knowledge of other skills while in committee,” DeBlasio said. “Public speaking, creativity, writing skills, and an interest in respectful debate are not unique to pre-law majors!”
For students who struggle with public speaking, TMUN is a great way to practice and grow comfortable talking to large groups of people.
“Public speaking is an important skill for everyone to have and the ability to practice speaking in front of your peers is truly invaluable,” DeBlasio said.
TMUN meets every Monday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in Monteith 226. Students are welcomed to come and give it a try, regardless of previous experience on a Model U.N. team, as they are always looking for new members.
“If you enjoy the meeting you can come again anytime, we are an open club,” DeBlasio said.
DeBlasio and her team would like to give a shout-out to those who helped their club advance to such a high rank in just three short years.
“Special thanks to President Herbst and Vice-President Weiner for their invaluable support in our efforts to become a Top 10 collegiate Model UN team,” DeBlasio said.
Rebecca Maher is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.