Top 10 Things We Learned from Taking Part in GMUN
The GNS Model United Nations club hosted the second and very successful GMUN event on December 1 and 2. Almost 100 students took part in two days of stimulating discussion, debate and activities where they tackled some important global topics and attempted to come up with real-world solutions.
Model United Nations (MUN) allows students to experience stepping into the shoes of ambassadors from UN member states to discuss and build consensus on global issues. They learn the intricacies of diplomacy, negotiation, constructing a case, debating and public speaking. GNS students have been taking part in externally hosted MUN conferences for several years. GMUN was started to allow our students to enjoy the challenge of organizing their own event.
Here are 10 things we learned from taking part in GMUN:
- GMUN is for anyone. With five committees of varying skill levels including a press corps, there are lots of options for students to get involved. There are lots of jobs for volunteers as well.
- GMUN can be exciting. Just ask the delegates who got kidnapped from the Sustainable Development Goals Crisis Committee because of their involvement in a failed assassination attempt of a Russian politician.
- GMUN can be inspiring. In addition to providing the opportunity to debate some important global topics, each conference opens with a keynote speaker. Dr. A.R. Elangovan, the Director of International Programs at the UVic Gustavson School of Business, began by asking delegates if they thought the world was actually getting better or worse and then provided his own personal context to support his view that it was getting better.
- GMUN is a great way to meet people. Spend the weekend discussing important global affairs with 80 to 100 of your closest friends.
- GMUN can be fun. Besides immersing in the intensity of diplomatic discussion, GMUN includes engaging activities such as the ultimate star hunt, a "who can make up the best cheer" competition, or the cookie trap/mystery investigation. Much excitement awaits students at GMUN.
- GMUN can be used as a CAS experience. As part of the IB Diploma, all candidates must meet 7 learning outcomes in their CAS portfolio (Creativity, Activity and Service) over the course of their Diploma: strength and growth; challenge and skills; initiative and planning; commitment and perseverance; collaborative skills; global engagement; and ethics of choices and actions. A GMUN experience can be applied to almost any of those.
- GMUN provides an international experience without the necessity of travel. Through GMUN you have the opportunity to step into the shoes of a diplomat, and learn about other countries and their current political, economic and social situations.
- GMUN looks great on university applications. A strong university application isn't just about grades—it is also about experiences and learning that happens outside of the classroom. GMUN creates a unique learning experience where you can engage in real-life problems and discuss potential solutions. Because it is student-led, it also provides leadership opportunities.
- GMUN supports the idea that Rome wasn't built in a day. The issues delegates consider during a conference don't have simple answers. GMUN is all about engaging with other students and learning the important teamwork skills that are needed to create potential solutions to big problems. Delegates have a chance to learn how to step outside their personal needs and biases and learn how to be hard on the problem and soft on the people involved.
- GMUN teaches students that diplomacy is not a spectator sport. It's not about winning or losing, but about learning how to collaborate to reach a consensus. As finding solutions to real world problems require these skills, GMUN is a great chance for our students to learn how to voice an opinion, listen to other ideas, and negotiate. All while practicing research, public speaking, and honing critical thinking and writing skills in a safe environment.
This list is not exhaustive and could potentially be applied to any MUN event!
Want to know how can you get involved in GMUN or other MUN conferences? Watch for the regular meetings and conference opportunities that happen throughout the year. Or contact Mr. Marthaller and Ms. Howey in the Middle School, or Mrs. Nielson and Ms. Robertson in the Senior School.