United Nations Student Association: University of Minnesota Model UN

Welcome to the homepage of the University of Minnesota's Model United Nations Team. Learn what MUN is all about, meet our team leaders, read about upcoming events, and join the club!

International Day of Happiness!

"What is the International Day of Happiness? It’s a day to be happy, of course! Since 2013, the United Nations has celebrated the International Day of Happiness as a way to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world. In 2015, the UN launched the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that seek to end povertyreduce inequality, and protect our planet – three key aspects that lead to well-being and happiness. Last year, the Smurfs rallied behind the 17 Sustainable Development Goals for the International Day of Happiness.

The United Nations invites each person of any age, plus every classroom, business and government to join in celebration of the International Day of Happiness."


MUN Beyond the Meetings!

Hi guys,

I just wanted to remind you guys that there are some great ways to participate in MUN besides our weekly club meetings! The event of the season is MinneMUN, which is the two-day simulation that our club members have been working very hard on planning and putting together. We'd love to have as many people as are able participate -- it's a lot of fun (with no prior experience in MUN necessary!) and there's some delicious food and wonderful speakers there too. Register here and encourage your friends to do the same!

Also, we're having a Chipotle fundraiser at the Washington Ave Chipotle tomorrow (3/4) and we'd really appreciate you making your dinner plans there and mentioning us at your purchase. Say you're going here on the Facebook event!

Lots of love,


Fun Meetings Recently!

Hey guys,

We had a great activity and mock debate for Valentine's Day and today we had a crisis simulation about the Catalonia Crisis. Thanks to all who came and to all the board members who worked to make this sim happen. It was a great opportunity to practice directives, note-passing, and diplomacy. We passed a directive and everything!

Don't forget to be working on MinneMUN (get registered or get on staff by shooting us an email) and to be on the right email list (see below)! Rachel's been sending out some beauties recently with a bunch of opportunities and news that you'll want to be privy to.

Looking forward to seeing you next week,


A Quick Simulation!

Hey guys! Don't forget that we're back in Coffman 303 at 6:30pm on Tuesdays. Also, if you didn't get the email about the meeting, please re-join our email list!

We also heard from our President-Elect and Treasurer-Elect about conferences for next year, and after some quick straw polls, the club seems to be leaning towards attending CMUNNY next fall.

We played the Bhatvan Game, which was a really cool exercise in diplomacy and the difficulties therein. Fake translation difficulties and cultural differences were fun to be silly with, while also demonstrating the real difficulties of such situations. Thanks for playing, those who showed up!

We're really excited to see MinneMUN develop, and if you're on staff for that, please remember to stick to your deadlines! Sourojit can't micromanage everything!



Some Updates from Our 1/30 Meeting

Stay tuned for our email updates about conferences and internship opportunities coming up!

Additionally, because MinneMUN is coming up, we'd like to encourage those not on dais to join the Press Corps, which is headed by our PR Manager, Ray. They're responsible for social media advertisements, updating staff bios, and writing news reports for committees during the conference. We're looking for at least four more people, and if you want to join, please email Ray or Sourojit!

Addiitonally, our MailChimp account is experiencing issues, so we'd appreciate it if you'd re-enroll for our mailing list. You can add unsa@umn.edu to your own calendar, and you should definitely join our Slack (our much better alternative to GroupMe!)

Please also check out our presentation on Crisis Committees.

Thanks for tuning in!



We were glad to have seen so many new faces at this meeting today, where we took the time to vote on the rest of our constitutional changes. The Constitution now stands as this document.

We then spent the rest of the meeting learning about Crisis Committee. We hope to focus on these rather than General Assembly-style MUN this semester, since so much of last year was spent learning about the latter style. Of course, don't forget that MinneMUN is coming up this semester too! 

Here are some of the things that you need to know about Crisis Committees:

  1. You get to use first person! Generally, as a participant in a Crisis Committee, you are assigned a role as a person and not as a country.
  2. Generally, you aim for directives instead of resolutions. These can be both public (committee actions, signed by as many people as possible) and private (portfolio powers, sent to crisis staff).
  3. There are Joint Crisis Committees, where there are two groups to the committee and they meet in 
  4. Crisis staff is very important!

Check out this video introduction, too.

We also had a great practice committee, so thanks to our Secretary General, Sourojit, and our Vice-President, Andrea, for running this meeting!

Back From Break: Spring Elections!

We were in Coffman 324 today, but for the rest of the semester, we'll be in Coffman 303. Again, if you haven't been keeping up, there have been some changes to the MUN election process. So we've had elections today! See the previous post for more details on that. The people that we elected today will not take office until May. Until that time, they will be in official -elect positions, essentially. 

Our nominees were:

  1. For President: Max Buccelli and Casey Lagueras
  2. For Vice-President: Clifton Sutherland
  3. For Treasurer: Rebecca Cowin

After excellent speeches and a thoughtful discussion by our club members, we have elected:

  1. For President: Max Buccelli
  2. For Vice-President: Clifton Sutherland
  3. For Treasurer: Rebecca Cowin

We're looking forward to a great semester! Please reach out to us if you have any questions or if you want to get more involved.


Constitution Updates: Changes to Board Member Terms

Hi all,

In our second-to-last meeting of the fall semester, the board brought several proposed constitutional changes to the attention of the club's general membership.

This meeting led to a great discussion by our general membership and we're pleased to have such involved membership and demonstrated interest in the affairs of the club. The constitution and its proposed changes can be found here, and our old constitution can also be found on our Gopherlink page. However, the thorough discussion led to us only having enough time to pass the changes in Article III.

With the changes to this Article, we are transitioning to terms of office for our board members that would better allow them to perform their duties and draw upon the resources of previous board members. The most important change is the transition from academic-year terms to calendar-year terms for President, Vice-President, and Treasurer. This is to reflect the changes that have recently occurred in the application process for SSF Funding, and would allow the parties responsible for these applications to be in their positions during the time of applications for funding that affects their time in the club. Moreover, this would hopefully lead to the preceding, experienced officers being available as resources, instead of having graduated, during this time.

board elections

Moreover, the terms for PR Manager, Web Manager, and Simulations Director would be semester-long. This hopefully would allow for members who study abroad during single-semesters to serve as board members. Secretary General and MSA Liaison would still be elected every academic year because planning for MinneMUN and participating in MSA are better situated along an academic year schedule. 

There would be no term limits for any of these positions, but re-election would be necessary at the end of any given member's term. We hope that this means that the best-suited person can serve the club as they are available. 

Please contact us at unsa@umn.edu with any questions or concerns. Keep checking back for further changes and make sure to look over the proposed changes and attend future voting meetings. There are more constitutional changes to vote on and elections for President, Vice-President, and Treasurer will occur in the Spring.

Thanks for reading & for a great semester!


Last Meeting of the Year: Human Rights Day

Thanks to our PR committee for putting on the last meeting of the year on Tuesday, December 12th to celebrate Human Rights day, which was Sunday, December 10th. We hosted Barbara Frey, director of the Human Rights Program here at the U and the former Executive Director for the Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, one of the largest U.S.-based international human rights organizations. Her experiences working at the UN and as human rights lawyer were inspiring and relevant to our members, who got to enjoy a nice study break from finals.

For more information about Human Rights Day, please see the slideshow that the PR committee made for the meeting introduction. If you're interested in getting involved in human rights on campus, check out the pamphlet that our new MSA Liaison, Katie Szarkowicz, made for the event.

Thanks for a great semester, guys!


A Visiting Diplomat!

Instead of a traditional meeting, UNSA partnered with GopherIsrael/Minnesota Hillel to present Ishmael Khaldi, Israel's first Bedouin diplomat on November 28th. Mr. Khaldi spoke about his journey from his life as a shepherd in a small village to a world traveling diplomat. Following Mr. Khaldi's speech was a brief Q & A session, where are members asked some great questions about dual identities, life as a diplomat, and the study of politics.

The event concluded with a diplomacy simulation facilitated by UNSA where attendees represented different stakeholder groups in an international migration crisis, emphasizing the topics of human rights and border security. We saw some great speeches and caucusing, though we didn't have time to take any official actions in our simulations. Thanks all who came!


AMUN Prep: the DL

  • Don't Panic. Also, don't be intimidated by the people whose placards are up for the entire time.
  • Research
    • Position Papers: Scan for things in caps -- you'll want to know about projects and resolutions and groups that have done things in the topic area.
    • Know what's happening with regards to your country. 
    • Know which countries you share goals with.
  • On Saturday, goes to the Rules and Role-Playing Meeting.
    • You'll see the chairs for the first time, and you can find out their quirks.
    • You'll get to meet the people in your committee, and it's practically caucusing. You can start building relationships here. Ask as many questions as you can to clarify rules and role-playing.
    • You might want to know about laptop rules, and 
  • What to bring to committee?
    • Something to write in and pass notes with. You'll need to do that in the beginning, but eventually you can transition to digital communication.
    • Make yourself an asset. Even if you aren't the expert, contribute what you can. Resolution-writing is going to be a great skill to build, and doesn't require you to be the most talkative and most informed. Don't be just a number in the committee though.
    • Your research binder and materials.
  • Roll Call
    • "Present" vs. "Present & Voting" -- "Present & Voting" means that you can't abstain from voting on substantive things. Probably just don't say that.
  • First Speech (this isn't an official section in the conference; this is on you to speak during committee)
    • Get it out of the way as fast as you can, even if it needs to be simple. Once you've done the first speech, you'll be a lot more at ease. You'll probably want to write this out for the first one.
    • Traditionally, both partners go up, and you can split talking time however you like. Double check this in the Rules and Role-Playing Meeting.
    • It's ten hours in committee per day. If you're unengaged and don't know what you're doing, you will have a terrible, miserable, no-good time. Also, take advantage of the opportunity that you've been given. 
    • You can bring up notes, but these are just quick 30-second situations usually. 
    • If you give at lease one speech per day, and you're 
  • First Unmoderated Caucus
    • This is your first time to talk to people in purview of committee. Talk to as many people as you can. You might want to split from your partner to cover more ground, but it's up to you.
    • This is generally about agenda-setting. Talk to countries who can help you reach your goals in that area. What topic is more important to you? Do that first.
  • Use your partner. ☯️ Divide and conquer. You can also have one person in the room and one person outside of the room working on the resolution document.
  • Unmoderated caucuses that are super long? Use this time productively. Stay fresh.
  • On Laptops: The wifi will probably be crappy. Download the important things onto your laptop. Personal hotspots are a godsend. Feel free to also print things out! Leslie-Knope-style binders certainly couldn't hurt.
  • Use your resources. Rapporteurs will help with resolutions. Talk to Home Government about your stances if you're confused.
  • Last committee session? If you've passed a resolution, go back to your friends (the guys that are the same country as you), and check in with them about how it worked out in the rest of the committees. Passing a resolution in your committee is half the battle, and now you need to get it through this one. Now you're caucusing to everybody and trying to get everybody on board. You can't run out of steam here! In the eyes of the 
  • AMUN hosts a Grad & Law School Fair. Check that out!
  • AMUN has conference swag! Nab some if you're into that.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Be nice to yourself <3 
  • Bond with people in club!! 
  • Hey, also: Be nice to your hotel rooms. Exude professionalism.

You'll do great! I'll see you there!


The Fun Stuff: A Recap

Our last three meetings were the following:

1. UN Day: Speakers and Celebration

Thanks to the PressCorps Committee for putting these on!

jessie pic - un day.jpg
cora pic - un day.jpg

2. Halloween Murder Mystery Simulation

Here was a good introduction to staying in character during simulations and starting to get our geopolitical problem-solving gears going!

3. Food & Agriculture Sim

We practiced researching and parliamentary procedure and we passed a resolution within our meeting time! Thanks to everyone who participated!

We've had a great time putting the learning that we've done to good use in sims and we'd like to thank Kimberly, our Simulations Coordinator, as well as the Secretariat for working to put them on.

Fifth Meeting Summary: Rules & Procedures

  1. MinneMUN plans are developing! (A reminder, this is the conference that we host, so you have the opportunity to be on staff!) The Secretariat has agreed upon the following five committees for MinneMUN:
    1. Space Colonial Crisis (JCC): Clifton's committee submission
    2. New World Order: Basically a world set not too far in the future where one major world power goes rogue.
    3. UNSC (UN Security Council): Discussing the situation in the Koreas
    4. UNHRC: Passive crisis committee, discussing universal standards on LGBTQ rights and protections.
  2. Our very own Clifton Sutherland presented on Rules & Procedures!
    1.  This is the kind of information that you will NEED if you are going to AMUN.
    2. This presentation will also tell you about roles that we will be playing when we host MinneMUN.
    3. Of course, you can also visit our Resources page to find out more about parliamentary procedures.
    4. Other points we talked about in the meeting
      1. The General Process of a MUN Committee
        1. Roll Call: The first order of business in a Model UN committee, during which the Rapporteur reads aloud the names of each member state in the committee. When a delegate's country's name is called, he or she may respond "present" or "present and voting." A delegate responding "present and voting" may not abstain on a substantive vote.
        2. Agenda: The order in which the issues before a committee will be discussed. The first duty of a committee following the roll call is usually to set the agenda.
        3. Motions: A request made by a delegate that the committee as a whole do something. Some motions might be to go into a caucus, to adjourn, to introduce a draft resolution, or to move into voting procedure.
      2. How to win at AMUN
        1. Don't be intimidated by your fellow delegates!
        2. Participate!
        3. Act according to the formal setting.
        4. Don't abuse your note-taking privileges.
        5. According to the AMUN website:  "Participants do not have any specific, judgeable criteria to follow, but should rather be focusing on preparing, to the best of their abilities, to fully represent their assigned country on the topics under discussion...While AMUN does provide “awards” for the committees and for overall participation, these are based on purely subjective criteria (i.e. the votes of your fellow delegates) and are de-emphasized at the Conference."
  3. Come to office hours if you have questions about this & unausa.org is a great resource.

Fourth Meeting Summary: Caucusing

  1. AMUN Applications are now closed, and we still encourage you to come to meetings, whether you're going to this conference or not! Showing you are committed will help you get into future conferences, and we do have events and meetings planned that will be interesting across the board.
  2. Make sure to pay your deposit if you do plan on going to AMUN. Friday is a hard deadline.
  3. We learned about moderated and unmoderated caucusing! 
    1. Slides
    2. Video

Third Meeting Summary: Resolution Writing

  1. We talked about t-shirt designs! Look forward to our inevitably snazzy t-shirts.
  2. Resolution Writing
    1. If you plan to apply for AMUN, this is very important -- you need to write preambular and operative clauses for your application, and writing resolutions is an important part of attending conferences!
    2. Check out Andrea's guide to writing resolutions.
    3. Check out bestdelegate's guide to writing resolutions.
    4. For the AMUN application specifically, check out the handbooks on the AMUN website for UN documents relating to issues at AMUN.
    5. And of course, remember our website features a very helpful resources page and our club features some very helpful seasoned MUNers. Find our officers' office hours in our emails if you want help!
  3. We practiced writing resolutions in club, so if you didn't get a chance to do that with us, feel free to practice writing one on the topic of the rise of fast food in America (from whichever perspective you choose), and bring it to office hours to see how it was!

Thanks for checking in!


Second Meeting Summary: AMUN Applications

  1. If you couldn't find us today, it's because we met for the first time in the Armory! Armory 202 is our new meeting spot to accommodate the larger-than-expected numbers.
  2. Join the committees! Today we were introduced to a new committee (the Sustainable Development Goals Committee), which also serves as a reminder that MUN is all about taking initiative. If you have an idea for the club, and what we should be doing in it, bring it to us!
  3. It's actually Global Goals Week right now!
  4. Unfortunately, we didn't get to do speed friending during this meeting, because AMUN deadlines loom very close! So we learned a ton about AMUN at this meeting.
    1. AMUN is great for new MUN-ers, because we participate in a general assembly instead of crisis committees.
    2. Here's some information about the structure of AMUN.
    3. And remember that AMUN is relatively close and cheap, and delegates come back with great stories.
    4. The AMUN Timeline:
      1. Sept. 19th - Application Opens
      2. Oct. 1st - Application Closes at 5pm
      3. Oct. 6th - Last Day to Confirm Attendance/Deposits Due
      4. Oct. 17th - Position Paper due to the Board for Revision
      5. Oct. 24th - Absolute Final Deadline to Submit Position Papers
      6. Nov. 18th - 21st - AMUN
    5. Notes on Applications:
      1. We'll let you know very shortly after the application closes whether you've been selected as a delegate or not. 
      2. We'll have a waiting list, which is almost always utilized.
      3. We have a security deposit requirement in order to encourage attendance for selected delegates. Don't let this frighten you, but do let it encourage you to take your commitments seriously.
      4. There will be lots of opportunities in meetings and elsewhere to learn about how MUN works before going to Chicago.
      5. More people always apply than we have the money to send. Don't half-ass your application. Utilize our meeting times, office hours times, and resources on the website to take your best stab at it!
  5. We also talked about MinneMUN! Here's where you should put your MinneMUN committee ideas. Contact Sourojit Ghosh, our Secretary General, with any questions.

A Quick Peek at our Membership:



Thanks for tuning in! 


First Meeting Summary: Introductions

  1. Board Introductions (see here to meet our board members! and here is our constitution if you'd like to read about our board's responsibilities and other stuff too)
  2. Member Introductions (it was lovely to hear from all of you about your majors and why you want to be part of MUN! we're especially glad to have such a diversity of majors, and it sounds like so many of you are ready to actively participate to the club!)
  3. Introduction to the Larger Organizations
    1. UNA-USA
    2. GenUN
  4. Overview of Our Goals
    1. Education and skill development
    2. Building and fostering club community
    3. Legitimizing UNSA-UMN, internally and externally
  5. Proposed Fall Schedule (we're actually working on revisions of this right now, so stay tuned for updates!)
  6. Upcoming Conferences - attending these does require an application process and some travel expenses, 
    1. Annual American Model United Nations (AMUN) Conference in Chicago - from Saturday through Tuesday, November 18–21, 2017
    2. 2 Spring Conferences (TBD)
    3. MinneMUN (the conference that we host in the spring)
  7. Introducing Committees (these are your opportunities to get involved directly with the happenings with the club on various fronts! contact the heads of the committees listed in order to find out more and get involved)
    1. Press Corps (AKA the PR Mafia) - outreach, branding, marketing, and event planning - Ray Weishan (PR Officer) & Annika Kohrt (Web Manager) - email us! or sign up!
    2. Secretariat - creating simulations for us to do in meeting and developing committee topics/background guides/plot lines for MinneMUN - Sourojit Ghosh (Secretary General) & Kimberly White (Simulations Coordinator) - email us! or sign up!
    3. Fundraising Committee - creating sustainable partnerships with corporations and organizations in the area to continue to finance our traveling conferences and to help grow our MinneMUN conference - Cullin Trivett & Jesse Smith - email us! or sign up!
  8. A Reminder to Follow Us on Social Media! (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)

MinneMUN 2017 Agenda!

Hey guys! Classes have begun again, which means we're ramping things up again for MinneMUN. We're still waiting for all the Committees to release their simulation topic summaries, but we have the schedule for MinneMUN ready for you! Check it out, put it on your calendar, and we'll see you there!