Model United Nations (MUN), a student-run organization that simulates international debates, will be hosting their fifth annual UC Santa Barbara Intercollegiate Model United Nations Conference (SBIMUN) on campus starting Friday and continuing through the weekend on campus.
The group participates in national and international conferences against similar groups from other colleges and universities, and also hosts its own high school and collegiate-level conferences. The opening ceremony will be held in Girvetz Hall, large committees will be in the Theater & Dance Building, small committees will be in the Student Resource Building and the closing ceremony will be in Isla Vista Theater.
According to SBIMUN Security Council Chair and fourth-year political science and Italian double major Jane Huson, their event is relatively new compared to those held at other universities and will provide students with good preparation for future MUN conferences.
“Our conference is pretty new and more of an educational one since it is hosted in the fall and a lot of colleges send newer delegates so they can experience it in a less intimidating environment,” Huson said. “A lot of students will go to the New York MUN in the spring and the Berkeley MUN in the winter so this is a jumping off point for the students.”
The number of travel conferences MUN will be able to attend depends on how much funding they collect from hosting home conferences. The team is planning to attend conferences in New York, Davis, Berkeley and Los Angeles this school year.
Chair of SBIMUN Human Rights Council and third-year global studies Benjamin Pu said the conference will be a great learning opportunity for many students.
“This is a great training conference, and for many schools it will be the first conference of the year,” Pu said. “We provide a thorough and rigorous environment for rules and procedures and also emphasize educational aspects as well.”
Huson said around 400 to 450 delegates from 18 universities throughout California are expected to be at the conference, including UC San Diego, UC Davis, University of Southern California and Stanford University.
Chair of SBIMUN World Food Program and first-year pre-economics Jason Tsao said he looks forward to the event.
“This is my first time chairing for a MUN conference and even though it’s going to be a long three days, I’m excited,” Tsao said. “There are training sessions held weekly and that’s where delegates will learn what to do at the conferences.”
According to Huson, there will be four committee sessions spread out over three days with the opening ceremony introducing chairs, committees and a guest speaker. Each committee will have two topics for discussion and will be chaired by MUN students.
Huson said MUN members can learn how to be better delegates through hosting a conference.
“Conferences are super helpful because students are chairing and facilitating the debates,” Huson said. “Chairs who are members will see what makes people good delegates so when they go to travel conferences they can know how to better behave and win prizes and learn what goes into writing a good resolution.”
MUN will host two more annual conferences, the Gaucho Model United Nations High School Conference and the Central Coast Scrimmage, on Feb. 14-15 and May 2 respectively.