The Model UN Class/Program
Government 138, "UN Simulation," is a class in which students act as representatives of a selected country in a simulation of an actual United Nations session. The fall class offers a semester-long simulation involving an important international issue selected by the instructor. High achieving students in this class can be invited to participate in one of two fall Model U.N. conferences, held respectively in Chicago and Washington, D.C. The spring UN Simulation class involves preparing for and participating in the National Model UN (NMUN) conference in New York City. Participation in the spring class is by invitation of the instructor. Selection standards are high, as only superior students are invited to participate. The class can be taken for graduate as well as undergraduate credit and can be repeated. Students can count up to six units of "UN Simulation" towards their major.
The UN Simulation class was created and offered for the first time by Professor Ron Fox in 1977. Since then, CSUS delegations have won numerous individual and delegation awards at MUN conferences. At the AMUN, our delegations have won nine "Overall Best Delegation" awards, including seven between 2003 and 2010 for our representation of Colombia, Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico Brazil again in 2009 and South Africa in 2010. Over the years we have won several awards at the NMUN, including "Outstanding Delegation," "Distinguished Delegation," and "Best Position Papers." In 2009, a banner year, we won "Overall Best Delegation" at the AMUN, "Distinguished Delegation for Iran at the NMUN-DC, and "Distinguished Delegation" and "Best Position Paper" awards at the NMUN for our representation of the non-governmental organization, Third World Network. As over 150 countries are represented at the AMUN and nearly all of the 190 actual U.N. members at the NMUN, this is a very notable achievement, for which the Government Department is very proud.
Preparation for a conference is rigorous, involving research and writing assignments on the United Nations, the country we are representing, and the issues selected for debate. Exercises in writing resolutions, caucusing strategies and using the rules of procedure are also integrated into the Government 138 structure. While the preparation is demanding, the rewards are many. Participating students learn a great deal about the U.N., the foreign policies of other countries, and pressing international issues. Perhaps more importantly students sharpen their writing and oral communication skills and gain valuable experience in human dynamics. Working in a group setting with students from all over the world not only helps nurture multicultural awareness and sensitivity, it also gives students a glimpse of the reality of complex and diverse personalities, which we believe will help them when they embark on their post-university lives. The MUN experience also finds students forming many close and lasting friendships, not only within our delegation, but with students from other schools and countries. Most Government 138 students cite the Model UN experience as the most memorable of their college years.