Group Name: Johns Hopkins University Model United Nations Conference (JHUMUNC)
Category of Group: Academics and Research
Year Founded: 1997
Name: Sam Lichtenstein
About the group
One of the fastest growing extracurricular activities among high school students is Model United Nations. Model U.N. is a simulation of the various organs of the United Nations and other international bodies. For high school students, attending Model U.N. conferences hosted by universities is a fun and educational way to improve their public speaking, debating, writing, and analytical skills – all while learning more about international politics. As one of the premier Model U.N. conferences in the country, JHUMUNC has a proud history of welcoming students from across the country (and world) to Baltimore once each year. Each year, over 100 JHU students help to plan and execute all aspects of running the conference (which takes place over the span of four days) – from moderating debate to keeping track of our (continually expanding) budget. There are many ways to get involved, each with its own time commitments, but all JHU students must be present at the conference 24/7 for all four days. Being a part of JHUMUNC is a fantastic experience for everyone involved and it is not an exaggeration to say that it will be one of your best weekends at Hopkins.
How can freshmen be involved?
Luckily, as JHUMUNC requires a large group of dedicated students, there are A LOT of ways for freshmen to get involved. By far the most common way for freshmen to help out is to become part of the group of students who help to moderate debate among high school students. If freshmen are not interested in helping out in that area, one of the other major roles they can play is to coordinate all of our operations. From ensuring that the Internet is working as it should to typing up the resolutions that high school students create during their committee sessions, JHUMUNC always has a huge need for staff members to help with the nuts and bolts of the conference.
Why did I get involved?
Taking part in Model U.N. was a major part of my high school experience. As such, when I got to college I knew I wanted to find a way to stay involved. As a staff member of JHUMUNC it is incredibly interesting to see how the conference works from the other side. While as a high school student you are not privy to any of the behind-the-scenes planning, as a staff member you get to see all the challenging, but incredibly cool, plans that make a conference a success.
What have you gotten out of being part of this group?
While I knew that joining the staff would have obvious educational benefits, I did not foresee two things. First, I have undoubtedly made some of my best friends through JHUMUNC. Working so hard all year and then spending 24/7 over the course of a weekend in a hotel in the Inner Harbor is an incredibly great experience that inevitably leads to many new friendships. Second, I have grown immensely as a manager. I have acquired a variety of new skills – from planning budgets to negotiating contracts – which I would not have otherwise developed.