On United Nations Day, members of Texas A&M Model UN (TAMUN) reflect on the program’s short but successful history and how the program has shaped their interests within the topic of international diplomacy.
TAMUN aims to expand members’ knowledge in international and diplomatic affairs, while also fostering techniques for open-minded discussions and debates.
Business senior Lauren Slusher said serving as secretary-general has helped her to clarify her goals within her passion for international affairs.
“I joined Model UN because I was interested in international affairs and diplomacy,” Slusher said. “As secretary-general, I want everyone to have fun during debates. As a member, I want to win all the debates by making sure that my country always gets the best possible deal. It’s a lot of fun feeling like you were able to outmaneuver someone.”
Although the program has only been around since 2014, Slusher said that members have worked vigorously to grow the organization and its training program for conferences.
“In our short history, we’ve attended a lot of conferences and often sweep awards,” Slusher said. “We have a great training program even though we are considered new and aren’t as professional as other schools. But our members are amazing.”
History sophomore Peter Barnett said serving as officer of membership for TAMUN has given him the opportunity to further develop his leadership and public speaking skills, all while forming meaningful relationships to help the organization reach its full potential.
“Being in Model UN has really helped me become more interested, involved, and knowledgeable about world politics,” Barnett said. “Also, I’ve made quite a few friends that I expect to spend much of the rest of my college career with.”
With 50 active members currently in the organization, each play a major role in TAMUN’s success at conferences.
“A Model UN conference is very formal yet fun experience,” Barnett said. “Members are organized into small groups or as individuals where they represent their nation and character before a judge in a parliamentary setting. The topic ranges from the hyper realistic to the fantastical, but it is all incredibly fun.”
According to Slusher, an important theme within the organization’s mission is to combat ignorance with understanding.
“We believe that ignorance is only cured by action, and we want our members to take action to learn more about international issues and politics,” Slusher said.
TAMUN is known for sweeping awards at Model UN conferences, and Barnett said he looks forward to continuing this trend at their upcoming conference.
“As far as accomplishments go, we have quite a few,” Barnett said. “Generally, when we compete, we sweep awards, especially best delegate. We hope to continue this at the Southern Regional Model UN conference this November.”
Slusher said she looks forward to her future with TAMUN and to the career opportunity that the organization has given her.
“For me, Model UN has helped me clarify my goals,” Slusher said. “I’m going to apply to the Foreign Commercial Service after I finish graduate school to help the U.S. promote trade between the U.S. and other countries.”