The Department of Political Science and Sociology started the Model UN Club this month, providing a way for students to increase their global literacy and learn about the role of the United Nations.
Choong-Nam Kang, professor of government, law and international affairs, said the Model UN Club began as a way for students to increase their knowledge of global issues and obtain valuable skills in communication, critical thinking and public speaking.
“The Model UN Club is a great opportunity for students to learn how the world works,” Kang said. “Students will learn and practice skills which will be valuable to them for their future careers.”
Along with helping students learn about global affairs, the Model UN Club’s goal is to help students develop skills in aspects of communication, negotiation and diplomacy.
More than 30 students have already become a part of the Model UN Club. Applications are still being accepted for the semester and students of all majors are welcomed and encouraged to apply.
Kang said the club plans on attending regional and national Model UN conferences throughout the year.
The main event will be the National Model United Nations conference in New York City April 13-17.
More than 5,000 universities from across the world will be attending the conference to discuss current global issues, attend a variety of sessions and participate in delegations on 20 selected committees.
There are 400 conferences held in 35 countries across the world each year.
The Model UN Club also hopes to reach out to high schools around the region to help them establish their own Model UN clubs.
Kang said a long-term goal of the club is to host a conference for the regional high schools at Murray State.
There are more than 400,000 middle school, high school and college students who participate in Model UN Clubs worldwide.
Mariah Barkley, president of the Model UN Club, said the skills which are acquired through the club are helpful in preparing students for the future in a variety of ways.
“The need for people who have knowledge of how to function in international relations is growing,” Barkley said. “The Model UN Club will be helpful in preparing students with skills for the future through hands-on experience.”
Barkley said students who become involved in the club will benefit in areas such as team work, communication skills and discovering their own talents and abilities.
The Model UN Club meets on Thursdays at 4 p.m. in room 509 in Faculty Hall.
Those interested in applying may contact Choon-Nam Kang or Martin Battle for more information and an application.
Both Choong-Nam Kang and Martin Battle are faculty advisers for the club.
Barkley said she sees the club as an incredible opportunity for the students at Murray State and is excited about the team already in place for the year.
Said Barkley: “Our vision is to see Model UN and its members exceed expectations and become a strong part of Murray State’s legacy.”
Story by Rebecca Walter, Staff Writer