"Together we aspire, together we achieve"
No words can express my gratitude
in being chosen as one of the members of the Rider NMUN delegation, nor
can words express the pleasure, the frustration, the knowledge gained in
world affairs, the feeling of participation, and the expansion of my views
and insights of the problems of the UN and the world, which I received
in New York.
Underclassmen should be made aware of NMUN as soon as possible (is orientation too early?) so they will know that it is something to strive for and upon being chosen, the honor and the responsibility on has to carry on -- if I may -- the tradition!
.... I have learned so much
about people, not only newfound friends, but our own delegates!
The atmosphere we were in was unbelievable, and it was something one never tried of. I wish that kind of experience for everyone, so that they could find the frustrations, excitement, tension, relief and joy, to mention a few emotions released when working with those people in that atmosphere....
was truly the best experience I have had in my entire life!
The 1973 National Model United Nations was the most gratifying endeavor, both educationally and personally, that I have experienced in my entire college career. As a member of the National Staff, I often found myself placed in situations that called for personal qualities that I was unaware I possessed.
One of my foremost shortcomings is my difficulty in speaking before groups of people and in my work in the NMUN this year I found myself forced to overcome this difficulty. In rapporteuring and chairing (which I did for the last session), I gained a confidence in my own abilities which I could not have acquired in any classroom.
I came into contact with many people this year from all over the country (and the world) whom I will always remember fondly and who gave me a much broader outlook on the UN and its functions.
I would strongly urge that in future years the faculty strongly encourage any students who are interested in working with the Secretariat. It is an unparalleled intellectual and personal experience and it gives the student an opportunity to continue working with the NMUN after graduation.
At the outset of our NMUN project, I stated to the group my hope that the NMUN would be a great and enjoyable learning experience. I believe my hopes were realized. Intellectually, I was inspired to continue reading and studying about the United Nations, the roles of the major powers (especially the U.S. and USSR) in that body, the role of Africa in world affairs, and comparative government in general. I did learn a great deal about those subjects and I want to learn more. In an intellectual sense, then, my hopes were satisfied and then some. I also learned much about group interaction in a situation like the one that existed, mainly about parliamentary procedure, conducting meetings, and being able to think on one’s feet. The last point is the most important to me, and the experience gained in New York will help me immensely in that area.
Now I can sincerely say that the NMUN program was one of the most rewarding experiences with which I have been involved during my three years at Rider.
In sum, I would say that this program was highly rewarding; mainly because I had so many frustrations to overcome in order to accomplish anything at all.
I feel that the 1973 NMUN was the most intellectually stimulating extra-curricular activity I have participated in at Rider. One benefit of an activity such as NMUN, is to learn how to order one’s thoughts in the rapidity of debate. A person is always judged by his or her ability to articulate ideas, NMUN gives the student an opportunity to attempt dialogue with other students of various geographical locations and several disciplines of previous study. Nowhere else have I had the opportunity to meet so wide a range of fascinating and intellectual people except when I was a member of the Madison College debate team. Personally, I found NMUN to be exciting and enjoyable both on the Conference floors and off.
Finally I would just like to say that NMUN will remain one of my fondest memories of college and that I am thankful to our two faculty advisors for giving me the opportunity to belong to such a worthwhile organization.
The 1975 National Model United Nations was a success beyond the mere winning of awards. As usual for this course, the academic benefits were equally as great. In terms of research, debate, understanding of the United Nations system, and awareness of world politics and problems, the NMUN provided a valuable, first-hand method of practical experience.
Research, when properly done for this course, consisted first of all of understanding the basic working system of the United Nations. Secondly, the national assignment of Iraq necessitated research into both domestic and foreign policies. We researched such domestic areas as political parties, the Kurdish problem, social conditions, industrial progress, mineral resources, and geography. In the area of foreign affairs, we were particularly concerned with Iraq's position vis-a-vis the Arab states and the border conflicts with Kuwait and Iran. In addition, Iraq's often radical approach toward the United States, Israel, and other Western powers as well as its ties with the Soviet Union and the Third World were studied. The oil issue and the Palestinian refugees, because they are of major importance to Iraq, were particularly stressed.
In this regard, our interview with Iraq's Deputy Representative to the United Nations, Wissam al-Zahawie, was especially informative since we were able to have positions on particular issues clarifies. I felt that our previous research on Iraq aided us a great deal in our asking Mr. Zahawie intelligent, relevant questions. This interview was so helpful to us that I would suggest that future NMUN teams formally request an interview in the early months of research instead of waiting until the week of the conference.
Another area where research was essential was that of specific committee topics. In dealing with these problems, it was necessary to study the historical and recent UN action on the given issue, and to find out how Iraq had voted and why. In addition, it was desirable that we find out how other nations had voted so that we could intelligently caucus once we reached New York.
I feel that one of the greatest strengths of the NMUN program is the experience the participants receive in extemporaneous speaking. In the frequent simulation sessions we held before the conference, every member of the team was encouraged to speak on a variety of issues. This experience in formal speaking before a group tests an individual's grasp of an issue as well as poise and off-the-cuff verbal ability--an experience that is rarely, if ever, paralleled in any other course at Rider College. I felt that our simulation sessions played an invaluable role in our success at the NMUN conference in terms of speaking ability, and I would urge that they be given due emphasis in the future. I would also urge, however, that knowledge of issues rather than mere rhetoric be more emphatically stressed.
The course was also very valuable in familiarizing us with the actual workings of the United Nations. The voluminous rules we had to learn were excellent parliamentary procedure experience, although I feel that our delegation was often too preoccupied with procedural points rather than substantive debate. The NMUN in general was very valuable in familiarizing us with the format and writing of resolutions, conventions, and treaties, and the steps required in their passage. In addition, we saw first-hand how the various committees and subsidiary organs of the United Nations operate.
The committees, conference and the plenary General Assembly of the NMUN provided and interesting and painless course in world politics. With almost every nation represented, the conference was a microcosm of worldwide diplomacy, and the often colorful speeches of delegates taught us a great deal about the stands of countries all over the world on the various issues. In addition, the emphasis on regional blocs and economic organizations demonstrated the importance of ideology as well as economic concerns in determining voting strategy.
All of these academic considerations
are more than adequate justifications for continuing this course. I would
even go so far as to say that the amount of work that inevitably goes into
the course each year would justify its expansion to four credits rather
than three. There are also additional benefits beyond those of academic
value. The opportunity to work in a well-integrated team and the interpersonal
relationships that are developed both here and at New York provide a valuable
social experience. This social interaction attractively complements the
educational value of the National Model United Nations and adds to the
overall benefits of the course.
When a student receives an education, he must have self-respect. This element alone is very essential for all members of the NMUN team. If an individual does not respect himself and his own beliefs, he cannot accept the other team members or other delegates in New York.
Another important element is self-discipline. As a NMUN member, a student must concentrate on a specific area of study without the pressures of a professor over his head. If an individual is not capable of self-discipline he will hinder the performance of the entire team. The most important part of an education to me is the outside work an individual puts into a course.
Throughout our semester's work, each
individual was responsible for developing his own specific area of study
-- if he failed the entire team failed.
The National Model United Nations program provides students interested in international politics, and the structure and functions of international organizations, a rich and rewarding experience.
No classroom oriented course could possibly provide a student with as firm and tangible a grasp in the actual workings of the United Nations as the N.M.U.N. does.
The N.M.U.N. course was of great educational value to me for many reasons. Being that I am not a Political Science major there was much for me to learn in this new area. At the start of the course, I was not aware of how little I really knew about world relations. Due to the way the course was set up I had time to keep up with world news as well as local news. During much of my free time, I would do further investigation into the views and theories of other countries besides the U.S.A. This information was not only valuable while attending the session in New York, but I found it to be helpful in some of my other courses, and good just as general information for any person to have.
The way the course was set - each person had one area they were responsible for. The area I had was that of Raw Materials and Natural Resources. This was, and still is an area of major importance, and because of my participation in this course, I was able to keep up with major events which are effecting everyone and still do my part in the course. At times it seemed that this course was taking up more time than any other of my courses. This was due to the extra meetings that were held and were of little or no value to many. There is much more work one has to do alone that in a group and I feel that more time should be given for that purpose, rather than for meetings.
The NMUN helps a person keep up on the news, get a better understanding of world relations, see the many differences between the U.S.A. and other countries and why there are such differences along with giving the person a chance to express himself in front of large groups. I feel I have gained in all of these areas and many more. I found great value in taking this course.
I am glad I was able to be a member
of this group and would like to see this course offered again next year.
As a member of the 1975 NMUN team from Rider I would like to express my sincere gratitude for this opportunity to participate in a really thrilling national competition/learning event.
Not only did I enjoy this whole experience
and get to know a few people very well, but I also learned a good deal!
What a rare and pleasant surprise. This was due to the fact that the
total NMUN experience was far more than just an ordinary college course.
It involved much more work, and reward, and adventure, and involvement,
and personal contact, and use of one's total personal resources in a practical
(only in the sense of application of knowledge, not in the sense of occupational
utility) way. It has been a most worthwhile course. Once again,
my sincerest thanks to all who partook in it.
I would like
to see this course more widely publicized so that there are more people
that can become aware of some of the experiences in education that they
can receive other than just the classroom. This is one educational
experience that I would recommend to anyone. As I state d before you gain
the knowledge and experience of working with people of all sorts, of meeting
people from all areas of the Untied States. The educational value of learning
about other countries, and their views on world problems in reference to
those handled by the United Nations, is an experience that books cannot
teach you about, you have to be there and experience it for yourself. An
old cliché states that "Experience is the best teacher," and it
is so true. Education would be so much more beneficial
to students if there were more experiences like the National Model United
I recommend that every student concerned
about the communications which influence international relations to partake
in the NMUN experiment and I guarantee that the individual that takes this
opportunity seriously will learn more about international affairs than
any textbook or newscast will ever tell him.
My experience at National Model United Nations this year was unsurpassed by anything else I have ever done in the educational environment. I have always enjoyed having unusual educational experiences, and this did not let me down. Having a class where students teach students is a fantastic idea.
I feel that I have learned more from the NMUN than I learn in many of my other classes. I had a lot more incentive to put a hugh amount of time into this because myself and the people around me were not just trying to get an A for the semester, but we were all trying to show that we were the best. And if I might add, WE WERE!
The National Model United Nations class taught by Dr. Chau Phan had much educational value for me.
First, I learned about the operation and structure of the United Nations and the countries that belong to it.
Secondly, I learned about the country Iraq - its political structure and its position on major topics of concern in the world today.
Thirdly, through research in recent periodicals and through the daily reading in The New York Times, I acquired a great deal of knowledge about world affairs.
Fourthly, through my research and through the team's simulation sessions, I learned about the political structure and the position of key countries in the world today. Each team member was responsible for researching a country and finding out its position on important issues.
Fifthly, I learned about Iraq's and the U.S.'s relationship with other countries. I could see where we stand with other countries in the world and some of the reasons for that stand.
Next, I learned speaking techniques and debating techniques which I used in my Conference on Disarmament and in caucusing before during and after meetings.
Finally, and I think most important, was the very experience of New York. It was here that I put everything that I had learned together into competition.
For these reasons I feel that
the NMUN was of great educational value.
The NMUN provided for me a much needed
practical participation in the affairs of the world, but, moreover, it
helped me to learn to deal with facts, and debate effectively on them.
Also, as an educational experience, it proved to be more than writing notes
in class, taking an exam, and forgetting all about the subject later on.
The NMUN stayed with me and helped me in looking at the international scene,
and different view points with an open mind and weighing the facts on both
sides instead of using my emotions to judge a situation. But, above all,
my participation in the '76 NMUN taught me how good one feels when one
contributes towards the team's efforts, and in return, knows there will
always be others ready to pitch in to help where it's needed.
Aside from the fact that I learned
a lot about Sweden and the U.N. in general I think I learned an important
lesson as an American. I can now see in a different light why the U.S.
seems to be in diplomatic trouble. I also lost the academic fear of facing
someone from Harvard for example.
I am a returning member and feel
most of the true educational experience comes once you are in N.Y. in your
own committee interacting with others. For me this was true this year once
again. I had done enough preparation before hand to be able to work with
others, talking with them, debating with them, and learning from them,
and sharing information I had gotten, and they had gotten. This is where
it all happens. Dealings with people from all over the country - small
schools and bigger ones (much bigger). It made me feel great that our team
could and did handle themselves great. I learned much about the other countries,
and other people and was glad I was able to be a part of this year's team.
Also as a speech major I feel it was of great value to me - the many times
I had to speak in front of others.
I really feel NMUN was educational
in many respects. First, we were a class working as a team and not out
for individual grades. Secondly, we had to combine different skills for
one purpose. These skills were research, speech, being able to debate and
answer without prepared responses, learning to ask questions when we had
to have answers, and of course, the events in New York and how to handle
different situations with the knowledge of what we had learned.
The educational experiences are many
and varied. I will say this, this NMUN course has taught me how to become
a better public speaker, how to get along with different people from different
backgrounds, and finally how to interact with different people. In essence
it has helped me to become a more round human being. This course should
definitely be carried over for future years.
Participation in the 1976 NMUN team was an experience that I will always value. Compared to other courses, the comprehensiveness and depth of the program was quite unique. As a psychology major, previously concentrating almost exclusively in psychology, sociology and philosophy, this program was of particular value. Learning about the functioning of the UN system and the political philosophy of Sweden as well as that of the major world powers has made me more open minded and showed that no side is ever totally right or wrong. It has also stimulated a real interest in foreign affairs and a desire to keep informed of what is happening outside of Trenton, New Jersey.
I believe the way the course was
handled was quite effectively. Giving us the independence
to operate without close supervision gave us the confidence that we could
do it by ourselves. There was no competition and the objective
of our work was knowledge rather than a grade. Sharing views and ideas
with members of our team and with other interesting students in New York,
while upholding the position of our assigned country was the
most outstanding educational experience that I have had at Rider.
On two levels - that of the actual
workings of the U.N. and the experiencing of frustration and despair when
working for world peace. A very rewarding and educational encounter to
say the least.
The educational aspects vary so much,
it's hard to put down in so few words. The knowledge of world affairs and
attitudes learned is enough in itself, but the interaction and challenges
with other schools on such a high level, I feel is the most important.
There is not another course in this school that can give you this opportunity.
The last important thing I received from this course is a tremendous amount
of confidence. Competing with so called "top"
schools and beating them, has given me confidence in what I am doing now
as a student and I'm sure it will carry on into the future.
One of my teachers told me that it was a waste of time to go play around in New York, and miss his classes. If he could spend just one day watching us in session in New York, I think he would change his mind. Putting aside all the knowledge that you must have about the workings of the U,N., you must gather information about your country and other countries as well. In the past two years I feel I have learned more about world politics and the inner workings of a few countries than I ever could in a classroom. Along with learning how to work with others I have also become proficient in speaking in groups.
It's hard to describe exactly what
I have learned in terms of facts and figures, but in terms of general knowledge
I know that it Is much more than could ever be taught in one semester in
a classroom situation. And, what's more is that for the most part, we the
students, have taught it to ourselves.
an intellectual and a personal endeavor NMUN was extremely rewarding. I
found myself intellectually motivated and stimulated and felt that the
actual experience more than measured up to my expectations. One of the
most outstanding features of the project was the fact that it was student
run. I felt that I played an active role in making the NMUN what is was
and this was a very gratifying and rare experience.
I believe that the educational experience
I derived from participation in the 1976 NMUN was greater than any course
I have taken so far. First of all I improved my public speaking abilities
as well as learning rules and procedures in running a meeting. I learned
how to interact with people through caucusing. To me this is a very valuable
educational experience learning how to deal with other people especially
those who have different views than you do. Also learning everything about
a foreign country and trying to express the views of that country to others.
Once again I thought that NMUN was one of the
greatest educational experiences I have ever had.
NMUN offers Rider students a fine educational opportunity and experience. It provides the opportunity to learn how the United Nations operates and functions. A team member is able to realize the difficulty in solving world problems. Also NMUN gives us the opportunity to discover the opinions of different countries. It gives us the ability to look at our foreign policy from other country's view.
NMUN also gives us the opportunity to become an expert in the field of our choice.
is excellent in teaching us how to work with others and gives us vital
The National Model United Nations is one of the better courses that Rider has to offer its students. The course involves both a thorough knowledge of the structure and workings of the UN and in-depth research in the foreign policy of a country our school will be representing. But this course also involves other aspects which are important to the education of the student.
The most important aspect is the experience the student gains in the area of public speaking. This is one area that no student can gain enough experience in. Another important aspect of NMUN is the experience it provides the student in group discussion and debate. Finally, the NMUN serves to teach the student about professionalism.
I feel that any student who wishes to take NMUN for three years should be allowed to do so. Every year the course changes: the country the team represents changes; the committee one is on may change; the topics of concern change; the people one deals with in New York change; and the team itself changes. This makes the NMUN unique when judging it against any other course at Rider.
Our effectiveness at NMUN would
surely be damaged if students were only allowed to return for one year.
Part of our strength in the NMUN lies in the ability of our third year
members to gain position in New York like Committee Chairman or President
of the General Assembly. Although a case may be made that second
year students can also get elected to these positions, the fact is that
second year students would not do half as well as third year students in
these positions because they would lack the expertise necessary to work
effectively in one of these positions. Our third year students excel
in the positions they are elected to because they have the benefit of two-years
experience and they have an excellent knowledge of the rules of procedure.
The great advantage of National Model United Nations over other courses of equal credit is that it gives the participant an opportunity to apply political and theoretical principles in a pressure environment. The course gave me not only the opportunity to expand my knowledge but to test my character. The confident way in which NMUN members have handled themselves in the New York conference is not only a tribute to the team members but to the program here at Rider College.
The much larger effort that students put into NMUN, as compared to other courses, is worthwhile based on the very tangible results that effort produces in New York. The lengthy meetings and simulations that go on prior to the trip are very worthwhile, in fact, vital to the success of the team. NMUN is a very effective laboratory in international political affairs.
The three credits that go with
the course are in this opinion, somewhat inconsequential, except in one
sense. Although I think team members should be willing to participate
on a non-credit basis, it would be almost impossible for them to devote
themselves intensely to NMUN were it not part of their academic schedule.
The academic well-being of a student taking a full schedule while participating
in NMUN would be put seriously in jeopardy. Frankly, the course makes
the student earn his three credits.
I feel that I received many benefits from being on the NMUN. I now know much more about the UN itself and its many and diverse workings. I also feel that I have learned to work better with people as a group by serving on the team and being in a committee.
In comparison to other 3-credit
courses, I believe I put more work into the NMUN than any other course
this semester because of the short time span used to prepare. I did
quite a bit of research both here at Rider and at Princeton. I read
many articles about my particular topic because it was one that was very
new to me. I wanted to go to New York City as prepared as I possibly
could be in order to benefit the team.
Starting with academically, I derived much from NMUN. For five morning-to-midnight days I sat in on committees discussing complicated economic matters, on a global scale, and I participated in and learned from those discussions. As a result of that I have learned to a vast extent the problem of the present economic order and the need for a new one. I have learned the problem of commodities on the world market, the need for buffer stocks on certain commodities, and in particular, the need for and the means to establish and operate a common fund. I feel that I have acquired a near expert knowledge of what goes on in a UN negotiating committee, and a good perception of the general workings of the UNCTAD part of the UN, and of the UN itself.
In addition to this I learned what it feels like to be a poor third world nation, how it feels to work with other countries to solve a world problem, to think you have a consensus on a viable solution and then see it shot down by the US. I learned to compromise and compromise until I could no more, and found out it still was not enough for the power and dollar hungry Americans. I even learned why there is hate for my country [the USA] and I learned that I could sympathize with that hate. I learned a lot.
Socially and otherwise I met dozens of people, made many friends, and had a overall great time in my stay in New York, and I am looking forward to next year.
During the earlier months the
NMUN is less work but as time passed I put much more time into NMUN than
any other class.
I feel that I have gained more from NMUN than any other single course I have attended at Rider. I have gained a better understanding of current events and their impact upon different countries of the world. I learned the workings of the UN. I saw how international relations are carried on, and came to understand why it can take so much time for the UN to act sometimes. Besides academics, I gained a social experience which has been unequaled in my life. I met and got to know people of greatly diverse backgrounds.
The NMUN took much more effort than most courses. It required me to acquire a working knowledge of my group along with a general knowledge of the rest of our country.
Douglas S. Frank:
I feel that I have benefited much from participating in the 1978 NMUN project. One of the goals of this project is to teach the participants about the foreign policy goals of another nation. I personally feel that I now know the policies of India well and can appreciate its international actions on a much higher level than I did before the start of this project.
Another goal is the understanding of international organizations; participation in the simulation allowed me greater understanding of the machinery of the UN in general, and the General Assembly Plenary in particular, than had I just studied it in a book or classroom. Indeed, the main value of the NMUN project is the direct involvement of the participants in the simulations so that they may learn international organization first-hand.
On a social level the program allowed me to meet students from all types of higher-learning institutions from across the nation and to share this experience with them. It also allowed me to spread the name and reputation of Rider College across the nation.
In comparison to other 3-credit
courses, I would have to say that I devoted much more time and effort to
the NMUN than any classroom situation. In meeting time alone here
at Rider about as much time was spent in sessions over the Fall 1977 semester,
1978 ISP, and the first part of the Spring 1978 semester as is spent in
class for normal 3-credit courses.
Participation in NMUN provided me with a much better understanding of the problems encountered in any attempt at international negotiation. I learned that the greatest tool in working towards true international peace and security is compromise, and also that the foreign policy of each of the 149 nations in the United Nations is different, in varying degrees, from any of the other 148 nations' foreign policy. My experience with NMUN also helped me to develop my speaking ability by making it necessary for me to clearly and forcefully express my country's position of the various topics which were discussed.
While doing the research required for my assignment as India's delegate to the Security Council, I gained a great deal of knowledge about current world problems, and I also learned many interesting facts about India and her role in international politics.
I benefited also by the very experience of researching my topics. It required much independent effort. Since the course did not have strictly structured assignments, I was responsible not only for knowing the material but also for finding where the information was available from among many possible sources. This searching was often a challenge, but it was a challenge which I enjoyed meeting.
I feel NMUN has a number of benefits to offer students participating in the project. First of all the students must learn to do extensive research on the country assigned to them for simulation as well as for the country that the delegation is representing. The student also has the opportunity to improve his public speaking under some pressure. Students involved must learn to use research facilities other than Rider's. It is also a great interpersonal experience in that you have the chance to interact with students from all over the country. Finally the student has the chance to represent Rider in a national conference.
I believe when one counts the amount of hours put into NMUN it is of equal time that students put into other courses. It is true that the course ends in mid-semester but we start preparing for the conference in May with weekly meetings starting in November. I firmly believe that NMUN is worthy of three credits.
This is a project which begins in May and ends in either March or April. Position papers and detailed resolutions are required of students. When one counts the hours while in New York the amount of time spent on NMUN becomes immerse. The students are evaluated on their performance at Rider as well as in New York. I once again will state that NMUN is worth three credits.
I feel if NMUN is limited to two years it would be a gross miscarriage of educational justice. Every year is a different learning experience. We have a different country every year so the preparation becomes completely different. Granted we may do some things the same way but that is the same thing in every course. Students may be learning different material but they still study the same way and they write reports the same way, they just use different material. This is the same way in which NMUN is handled. I do believe that a third year member should be in a leadership role.
As a delegation leader I would
have to admit that an individual to do an effective job must be completely
aware of the course and I don't believe that is possible until the third
year. On my three years on the team the delegation leaders have always
been third year members which I believe is a strong reason for its success.
Finally, if a student is allowed for his third year he should be granted
at least three credits. This is because in many cases he is teaching
new members as well as preparing the full team.
David J. Hall:
The benefits gained from the NMUN experience, regardless of the year, cover both ends of the spectrum. That is to say, there are both educational (academic) and personal experiences to be gained.
Academically the project was worthwhile in the sense that, this course allows for a concentrated and in-depth study of the UN and its affiliated committees and organizations. I feel one obtains a better working knowledge and appreciation of the UN than any text-book taught courses offered. Textbook courses provide good background - NMUN provides the experience.
The personal aspects obtained from the NMUN experience centers around the ideals of personal growth. That is, personal growth obtained by exercising and taxing your intellectual abilities to their limit; and then surpassing those preconceived limits. One also grows through the development of interpersonal relationships with not only team members but also with some of the 1,400 students in attendance.
In conclusion, NMUN
as a whole offers what college is supposed to offer: intellectual and personal
The NMUN project enabled me to learn, in depth, much of the structure and organization of the UN. This includes not only an overview of the major organs and their purposes, but a detailed, working knowledge of the functions and issues of some committees and commissions. I learned some of India's positions concerning foreign policy, especially in Social Development.
In New York, I had the opportunity to determine the relations between countries and various differences and similarities in social programs and agencies. As a Psychology major, I realize the importance of independent research and study. This was a great opportunity to choose a topic and research it with some definite goal as a "reward" besides three graded credits.
I think the time and effort devoted to NMUN was only slightly more than that required for most three credit electives. However, it was much more intense due to the fact that this work had to be completed in just 8-10 weeks in order to be prepared for New York.
Despite the lack of lecture-type
instruction, the educational value of a course like this is great.
Through individual research, we learned at least as much as we would have
in a comparable classroom course. Being able to work at our own pace
and being imbued with a "team spirit" kept most of us more interested than
any lecture would.
A deeper understanding of the United Nations and international organizations in general, particularly the development and coordination of the mission of the United Nations with respect to the ideals embodied by the Charter of the United Nations.
Increased knowledge of and identification with the problems facing the country our team represented (India) as well as the assigned simulation country.
Practical experience in the workings of international relations, greater understanding of cooperative effort and action through caucusing.
Better communication skills; self-development in persuasive communication, greater ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds, increased understanding of techniques of debate.
The NMUN project encompasses a variety of educational experiences.
Academically, I learned how the UN functions, including such topics as Parliamentary procedure and the purpose of the various organs, etc. I studied the political, economic and social aspects of India and, more specifically, transnational corporations. I had the chance to learn information, but, more importantly, apply it at the conference. This gave me practical experience, while at the same time, showing myself and others how much I had learned.
Socially, it gave me the chance
to meet with people from all over the country. I gained experience
and confidence when speaking to a group, while effectively persuading and
compromising with others. I came away with a vast understanding of
the UN, India, international relations and transnational corporations.
The benefits I received from NMUN were many. The one obvious benefit I got out of NMUN was a better understanding of international politics and the way it actually works. In these mock sessions I began to realize the real problems in the world and the difficulties that arise in trying to solve them. Also I learned how to look at the worlds problems through an international eye whereas before I could only conceive world events from an American standpoint.
Some other benefits I reaped from NMUN were learning how to speak in front of a large assembly with confidence, and also learning the art of compromise which everyone knows is an important aspect in human interaction. Overall I consider NMUN to be the best learning experience I had so far at Rider.
NMUN required just as much if not more time than my other courses. Reasons for this lie in the fact that preparation was required for each mock session. This preparation often required doing research at Princeton's library. Another reason is in the fact that a position paper on your committee was mandatory. This paper required extensive research. The most effort, however, occurred at the convention itself where 13-hour days in committees were commonplace.
This has been my third year of participation in NMUN. As expected, it was a totally new experience. This year my committee assignment was one outside the United Nations structure. Working on this committee, which was the O.A.U., gave me insight into a previously little known topic area. In addition to learning about the O.A.U., its history, and function, I also gained a good deal of knowledge on Africa and its problems. This is not to mention that I did intensive studying on Zaire itself. I feel I am very well read on Zairian politics and foreign relations.
In addition to the factual knowledge I have had the pleasure and the grief of leading this year's team. The experience gained by this venture is perhaps my most beneficial single experience here at Rider. For better or worse, I prospered from this year's NMUN team.
In the overall time that I spent in class, doing research, preparing for meetings, and just plain worrying, model UN took up as much time as at least two other classes. Our stay in New York took up over 100 hours in NMUN related activities. Our class began meeting in October and met through spring break. These meetings lasted 2-3 hours each.
Research at Princeton each
week took up a good deal of time. So did planning the meetings and
setting up and organization. The effort demanded of me by NMUN seemed
engulfing at earlier points of the semester. Even though it has ended
a month before other classes, it takes up the effort of two three-credit
Each course has its own unique and specific benefits. This year's NMUN team's benefits include: a practical view of international politics; a realistic look at the rules, procedures, and the role of the United Nations in the world community; an intensified study of African and Third World politics and policies; and a personal research of present and future new and renewable resource alternatives.
The NMUN gives the participant
a smorgasbord of international events; topics are covered from apartheid
to Zionism. The NMUN participant also learns of the varied roles the United
Nations plays in international politics from an organization with its hands
tied unable to do anything of substance; to a powerful international police
agent. An absorbing and realistic study was taken of African politics
which included a look at the role of the Organization of African Unity
in African politics. In my research on New and Renewable Energy Resources
I touched upon a number of alternatives and topics such as geothermal,
wind energy, tidal energy, solar energy, controversial nuclear energy and
a host of other topics.
N.M.U.N. was the single most rewarding and academically invigorating experience that I have encountered at Rider. It gives the members of the Rider College community a chance to compete with other colleges and universities on an equal level. It also proves to the student the academic equivalent between himself or herself and other students from various educational institutions.
The benefits of this course
are enormous. The team member receives the following: valued
leadership experience, techniques in negotiation and compromise, knowledge
of how to follow rules and use rules to your advantage, and receives a
deeper understanding of the problems of the world today. When
the N.M.U.N. team travels to New York, the team members are wary of what
lies ahead, but the team returns with a sense of confidence and fulfilment
which is hard to describe and which seems near impossible to gain through
many other activities at Rider.
The NMUN class is, in my opinion, one of the best classes offered at Rider College. I personally benefitted immensely from the class.
It taught me not only a great deal about international political, economic, and social affairs, but it also challenged my abilities as a communicator and leader. Because the class centers on individual performance, in relation to team performance, it requires a total or complete effort on the part of the individuals who participate. The class pushes individuals to high levels of performance because of its built in pressure to excel in your performance in the classroom as well as in New York.
I gained not only a great deal of academic knowledge about the world, the United Nations, and people, but also knowledge about myself as a person, my abilities as a leader. From this experience I am more confident in myself and the interpersonal skills I had to use will help me in whatever field I endeavor. NMUN made me more aware of the intricacies of international relations as well as more aware of myself. I believe this awareness makes me special at Rider because it has widened my entire educational experience. This class was probably most rewarding because it is an experience in diplomacy and experience is an ever-lasting educational tool.
I was in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development-Negotiating Group II. My areas were, protectionism, multilateral trade negotiations, and the code of conduct on the transfer of technology. I learned more about North-South negotiations from this participation than I feel I could have learned anywhere else. I was not only required to be an expert on Sweden's position but also knowledgeable on the other participating countries positions. I better understand the demands of the Group of 77 and their criticism of the United States and other Western nations in these areas.
By being put in a position to defend both sides and reach a consensus agreement I assumed a leadership role in our conference. My own perceptions and those of others about myself enabled me to do this experience. I credit my knowledge of world affairs I received in preparation for our participation in New York for my own personal achievement.
Classroom preparation, in the form
of research and simulations of the UN, was not only educational and beneficial,
it was also fun. When learning is fun it is hard not to learn.
The absence of lecturing and reliance on independent individual performance
enabled me to benefit the most from the material. By being put "on
the spot" for my assigned country's position I realized my own knowledge,
and the ability to communicate this knowledge, gave me greater confidence
in myself as a student. This form of testing our positions taught
us about each others country and our own more than any written test could
have. NMUN was a learning experience in every
sense, one that will be with me forever.
Academically, the Model UN project was of great benefit. In simulations I was made aware of several important world issues along with the positions other countries take on these issues. I feel that today I am much more familiar with the policies of UN Nations than before NMUN began. I also consider myself a near-expert on European affairs concerning disarmament and human rights. This stems from my studies for CSCE. My respect for the United Nations in general has also grown considerably. I now realize that the UN has helped to avert another world war and is indispensable as an international peace-keeping body. The UN may be a stepping stone toward a more compress means by which to achieve an equitable international order.
Model UN also helped me present myself in a more positive way. I am now a confident speaker and my diplomatic skills have improved dramatically. In New York I met many interesting and intellectually stimulating people who will probably remain as lifetime friends. I also learned and experienced the benefits of teamwork and realize how important teamwork can be in environment like NMUN.
After participating in Rider's National Model United Nations, I truly believe that this will probably be the best experience I will have in college. I feel I have benefitted academically by my increased knowledge of international affairs, and personally by the increase in confidence and maturity. I must admit that before the conference I was very skeptical and even at times cynical. I had assumed that everyone would do better than us because we were so inexperienced. But the unity and friendship that formed in this delegation had/has a lot to do with our success. I only have good words to say about everyone (well, mostly everyone). The people that were involved in NMUN this year were the best; I would not have changed anything.
Once again, I would like to conclude
by saying that this was a great experience, of which
I will never forget. The fact that I was able to speak extemporaneously
to a group of strangers has made me feel more self-confident and more mature.
I recommend this program to anyone interested in foreign affairs.
The National Model United Nations was the most beneficial class overall that I have had in my four years of college.
It not only increased my knowledge of world events, but I also witnessed first-hand the real machinery that works behind the scenes. It was a chance to really delve into the diplomatic processes - something I have always wanted to do. Besides the above benefits, the NMUN has definitely enabled me to debate better (with or without notes in front of me), listen to other viewpoints better, and, most importantly, to have more confidence in myself. I gained a wealth of experience that will help me in my job and my life.
The NMUN required much more
work than any one of my other courses; however, the work was very interesting
and not at all tedious (as in some of my other classes). The effort
I put forth for the NMUN was enjoyable, making the extra work acceptable.
The benefits of participating in the Model UN are almost too numerous to mention. The chance to work with a group of highly motivated individuals on a project that has relevance and importance is probably the greatest reward. Also, learning to express your own views before a large group of strangers and then having to negotiate matters with others who have differing opinions is something that is very useful outside of the Model UN. Attending committee meetings in New York help you broaden your horizon and understand the value and limitations of the real United Nations. Besides, we met a lot of great people in New York and we had fun throughout the whole projects.
Academically model UN gave me a greater
understanding of World Affairs through the required background research
that I did in preparing for the NMUN. It also gave me valuable hands
on experience in dealing with people which is very important to a future
Accountant. I believe I put in more effort for this course than all
but a few of my advanced accounting courses.
I can't even begin to list the benefits
of this course because there are so many. I've learned from my participation
to speak more efficiently, to communicate one to one, to manipulate, to
take charge, to speak in front of many people.
I benefitted from the 1981-1982 Model United Nations experience in several ways. First of all academically, I feel the Model United Nations course was the most educating course I have had here at Rider. The reason is because this course dealt with the current issues of great importance to the world community, which I must live in, and its existence. The question of Poland for example is one which may greatly alter the present structure of the world community, thereby greatly affecting me.
In other respects, I benefitted from this experience personally and professionally. I learned and thoroughly enjoyed the part of a team member. It greatly developed my social skills because I had to coordinate and compromise with other team members. Professionally, Model UN helped me to improve my projection and presentation skills.
This course required a great deal
more than most courses I have encountered. This is due to the fact
that you were asked to use many more aspects of yourself than just your
mind in achieving success. NMUN required you to use your projection
skills during simulations and when giving speeches. You were also
required to use your creative skills in having to role-play another country's
position. You were also asked to draw upon your diplomatic skills
when trying to achieve results by persuading members of the delegation.
In addition, you also had to use a great deal of your own common sense
when caucusing with members from other delegations.
The benefit derived from NMUN was two-fold: firstly, a gain in world knowledge; and secondly, training in public speaking and interpersonal cooperation. The amount of overall knowledge and understanding of the world political scene, (through both simulation and the preparation for committee) would rival that of any course. Because it is gained through individual research and active participation in simulations and committees, it is much greater a part of our retained learning than lectures and presented readings.
Simulations provide training few
people receive unless they take a speech course. Committee was a
lesson in "forum" etiquette and the necessity to relate well to others.
The ability to make friends was a must, and one learns quickly that standing
alone (e.g., the delegate from USA, U. of Dayton, in UNCTAD I) is futile.
Overall, these properties make NMUN the best learning.
The benefits that I received from participating in the model UN are numerous. I learned a lot about Political Interaction. This I consider very important because any Political Science major needs to know behind the scenes as well as factual information. I also learned a great deal about the world situation as it exists today and the problem it confronts. But I feel what I mostly learned was how to be self-confident about my abilities.
In comparison to other 3-credit courses,
Model UN required a little bit more effort than the other classes I've
had. The reason for this is that the student became the teacher and
the teacher was the observer. This was quite a change from the typical
role of a student that I was used to.
I benefitted greatly from my participation in Model UN, both academically and personally. I learned a great deal about major world issues from our class simulations, and from the New York Conference. I learned how the United Nations really works and more importantly, I learned the importance of behind the scenes work in large committees. I also learned how to speak on an issue extemporaneously, as opposed to speaking from a written speech. This is especially important for me as I hope to become a lawyer, who must frequently speak "off the cuff".
Model UN was both academically and intellectually stimulating, as I now know more about world events and their significance and the workings of the UN than I ever thought I would know. The reasons for this were the variety of issues we covered in class simulations and even more importantly, the practical experience gained in New York. It was from this that I gained the most knowledge on the inner workings of the United Nations.
The most worthwhile
benefit I derived from participation in NMUN, however, was a great boost
in my self-confidence. I must admit that when I walked into
my first committee meeting I thought, "here I am from Rider College competing
against the top schools in the country--how can I possibly compete against
them?" I quickly proved my doubts wrong, however. Not only
was I as well versed as anyone from Brown, Princeton, or Columbia, but
I actually found myself being better prepared and acting as a better negotiator
than most any delegate in my entire committee. By
the end of the conference, I no longer felt intimidated by these "Ivy-Leaguers",
and I found myself feeling very proud to say that I was from Rider College
as a result of the reputation we had gained. As a result of this,
I feel confident that I will be able to deal with these people on an equal,
or even a superior basis in my career for I now know that I am just as
able to succeed as well as anyone from a "top name" school.
I feel that participating in Model United Nations has been the most beneficial experience I have had thus far, to enhance my career as a Political Science major.
Academically, the Thursday
night simulations required that I kept abreast of all major events occurring
throughout the world. My preparation for the simulations was considerable.
Although my research was done independent, I learned a lot about the various
topics we discussed. After coming back form New York, I feel that
I am better prepared to communicate effectively with others. I also
feel that I have considerable knowledge of he UN and the role it plays
in international affairs. Upon reflection, Model
UN was an eye-opening experience for me because I was able to evaluate
myself and I came to the realization that in order to succeed one must
be well-spoken and assertive.
As delegation leader for the 1983 National Model U.N. team, I feel that I have improved my ability to work as a leader and my ability to keep unity among our group. As a result, I learned how to deal with group interaction, including conflicts. Model U.N. also helped me to develop strong friendships with all who participated.
I enjoyed benefits in three basic areas form participating in the 1983 Model UN programs: academic, social, and personal.
Academically, it provided me an opportunity to learn a great deal about the world's political environment and how individual nations impact global events. Specifically, it provided me a better understanding of Egyptian policies and the topic of international finance.
Socially, it brought me in
contact with individuals who have similar interests as myself. The
different range of personalities and interests deeply enriched my experience.
As a result, I was able to grow personally. I was given an opportunity
to further expand my international interests.
Model United Nations has many benefits. The benefits derived form Model UN far outweigh all the work entailed. Model UN has taught me through experience how to speak more effectively as well as how to write a persuasive speech. It has also helped me to speak off the top of my head, which is much more interesting and persuasive, rather than just reading off a paper. The simulations in which we participate helps prepare the way for New York. Although this preparation is of the utmost help, you learn quickly how to think, speak, and write more effectively and rapidly once in New York.
from the academic benefits, the experience in New York matures a person.
You don't come back form New York the same person.
I was very apprehensive and scared before we went to New York but once
you get there you jump right in and participate. The experience gives,
well it gave me, a lot more confidence in myself as well as in my abilities.
You also interact with many different people from the U.S. which gives
you a chance to board en your range of friends. You meet with these
people in a set atmosphere (conference) as well as socially. You
get out of it what you put in. These are just some of the benefits
derived form Model UN, I can't begin to name them all. A
person has to experience it for herself to believe that so much could be
derived from one class. It is worth all the time and effort put into it.
My NMUN experience has been beneficial to me in many ways. The academic benefit is obvious. Model United Nations requires absolutely that each member participate completely. Part of this involves research. Preparing for a simulation by investigating a certain country's opinion on an international issue is quite challenging. Sometimes the country or issue at hand is obscure. This, of course, makes the job more challenging. The worst thing to do is to assume that a major-nation assignment means that your role will be easy. IF you enter a simulation with a sharp mind, well-prepared etc., it will not matter what country you are assigned. The fact that I learned is that one must make the best of it, and this fact is reinforced in New York. A good delegate can spark life into a dull committee.
All of this leads to a wonderful effect that NMUN has on members, especially timid ones. To excel one must be confident and feel capable. I think that all members, including myself, are now more sure of our abilities.
NMUN is also intellectually stimulating, and for me, this aspect is terribly important. As a Finance major I am inundated with numbers and economic concepts. These are fine but a bit dry. Debating in NMUN keeps my mind from going to "mush" (as The Paper Chase's Professor Kingsfield would say). I actually credit NMUN with preserving my interest in school this semester.
Another great benefit is the
experience in New York. I really enjoy meeting other people from
different apart of the country and the world to exchange views.
The benefits I derived from participating in the 1983 Model United Nations project were as varied as one could image. They ranged from very valuable academic enrichment to a noticeable development in social maturity. First as a member of this year's delegation and the Economic Commission for Africa, I gained a greater understanding of the almost insurmountable problems the countries of Africa are faced with. I can honestly say that I now know that attention to these problems must be immediately directed towards solving these crises through financial, and technological assistance by the more financially sound countries.
In addition I was also exposed to other problems facing the world community in general that must be solved in order to maintain world harmony. I feel that exposure to these world problems makes me a more intelligent and knowledgeable member of the world community.
I also gained several significant social skills such as developing the art of persuasion and debate that were necessary to be successful during our Thursday night simulations. Another skill which I developed as a member of this year's delegation was that of accepting compromise. I realized that it is necessary for someone to meet others halfway in order to keep a team operating together as one.
As compared to last year's committee, this year's assignment required more time and energy to adequately cover. I was not as familiar with the problems facing the African countries as I was with problems facing the more developed countries. I also felt that the position of Egypt within these committees was a very controversial one and required a highly developed skill of role portrayal.
The preparation for Thursday
night simulations required continual attention to detail and constant
research which might include changes in your country’s policies right up
to the minute of simulation. I know of no
other course where you were required to use a high level of expertise in
areas such as research, persuasion, oral presentation and be subject to
continual interrogation and challenge of your knowledge as in National
Model United Nations.
Each year, the Rider College NMUN team represents a different country in the national competition. Each team member serves on a different committee ranging from nuclear weapons, to women's rights to peaceful uses of outer space.
This year, the Rider College team represented Egypt. I served on the Political and Security Committee, which covered two topics: chemical and biological weapons, and the economic and social consequences of the arms race. Through extensive research, I learned Egypt's position on these issues.
Yet the true learning took place in New York, when I was exposed to the viewpoints of over 120 other nations. I learned that each country looks at the world from its own perspective. While I observed the representatives of the United States and Soviet Union accusing each other of hoarding chemical weapons, I began to realize that the issue means so much more to countries endangered by these weapons. The human element surfaced when stories of human suffering were told by delegates of countries attacked by such weapon systems. I could not possibly have gained this perspective by reading a textbook or by taking notes from a lecture.
I also gained a more complete perspective of the Nuclear Arms Race. While both superpowers are concerned with military superiority, I discovered that the issue is much more basic to other nations, for they fear for their very survival. They not only fear for their lives, but also their economic survival, which is threatened by the arms race.
The value of Model United Nations, however, goes far beyond learning about specific countries positions on world issues. By participating in the National competition, I became aware of how political bodies truly operate - not just the United Nations, but also Congress or any other major political bodies. I learned that what is said on floor debate is far less important than what is agreed upon behind the scenes. No matter how well a view is presented, it will not gain support without a key factor -- negotiations. Model United Nations taught me the art of negotiations and making concessions in a true-to-life atmosphere of a United Nations simulation.
Model UN also contributed to my personal growth by strongly boosting my self-confidence. Before taking part in the New York competition, I doubted my ability to compete on the same level as students from Brown, Princeton and other top schools in the country. Rider's track record, however, proves that we can successfully compete against these schools. This point was best demonstrated in the following anecdote:
I was attending the first meeting last year, and my mind was full of doubt. I knew that I was prepared, but doubted my ability to articulate with these top students. We had broken off into small negotiation groups, and each delegate was summarizing his country's policy. While I was speaking, the delegate from France, representing Georgetown University, accused me of not accurately representing Sweden's policy. I immediately struck back, telling the delegate calmly but firmly "how dare you accuse me of this. I spoke with the ambassador and he informed me of the proper position." She quickly apologized when she realized that I could support my position. Since then, we worked together in negotiating with other blocs. By standing up to attack, I gained respect.
I realize these comments may
seem too impassioned to describe any one course offering but Model
UN is a valuable learning experience, not just intellectually, but emotionally
and socially as well.
Although there were many intelligent delegates in N.Y.C., many of them do not possess the writing skills necessary to facilitate other country's understanding of the delegate's objectives. With my background in writing, I felt more than adequate in drafting and continually editing proposed recommendations. I think the actual practice of using my writing skills give me the greatest benefit.
In a world where "reaction" can cause disastrous repercussion, it is superlatively important that we learn to "respond." U.N. teaches you to be responsive to your allies as well as enemies. How to absorb a situation and understand positions other than your own. Allowing you to administer the correct medicine in respective amounts, at the most effective time. I have no doubt that the majority of U.N. participants at N.Y., if able to preserve their attitudes without the perversion of modern day politics, could bring a more harmonious tone to this clamorous world.
Since this is the second year in which I have participated in the National Model United Nations, the experience was nothing new. However, I did experience what it was like to be part of the NMUN staff. That is, I was the vice-chairman of the Economic and Social Council Plenary. By being vice-chair, I was able to take control for the plenary and run the debating the way I thought it should be done. As a result, we were able to finish our agenda topics and start another. Our two agenda topics, apartheid and ways of enforcing the United Nations role in facilitating economic and social development, helped me to better understand the issues involved in the practice of apartheid and allowed me to devise my own means of strengthening the United Nations role in economic and social development. By participating for a second time in Model U.N., I have developed my speech skills as well as my leadership abilities.
Being Co-leader of the Venezuelan delegation was also a rewarding experience. Working with fellow students and helping to organize the team helped to develop my time management skills. The ability to work with another student leader on a academic and personal level has improved my relationship with the other delegation leader as well as the rest of the team.
The entire MUN experience -- its two years -- has been a reward of a lifetime.
I believe that I got out of the NMUN
experience much more than I had expected. What I came away with was a broad
base of knowledge extending from the operations of the UN, specific issues,
to exercising skills in public speaking, negotiating, and diplomacy. I
also came away with learning about myself. This unique experience is has
many hidden rewards. It's more than just learning different facets about
the United Nations. It's learning and exercising skills that are going
to be utilized in every aspect of life, from interpersonal relationships
to working relationships. Learning how to cooperate and compromise with
someone of a different background, culture, or political face is something
that we will face repeatedly. NMUN gave me the opportunity to practice
these skills, something I did not expect when I first began.
My experience this year is something that I will hold positive memories for always.
We all got to know each other much better, and for myself, my existing friendships were strengthened and new ones were made.
Academically, I gained knowledge not only of the political, social, and economic facets of Trinidad and Tobago, but also of the Caribbean community. This gave me a new angle on the global community and more importantly a new understanding of a people and nation which I was unfamiliar. I also gained more knowledge in the field of researching and just how useful the technology that we have here at Rider is.
Having the opportunity to go to the United Nations and sit in one of the conference rooms and conduct a session was a historical moment for me in my life. I was in awe sitting in that room where the reality takes place. It is something that I will not forget, and it is something that not that many people or students get to do in their lifetime.
This year was quite different from last in year in two respects. One being delegation leader is more comprehensive than being a member. This position in itself requires time, patience, organization, responsibility, and the ability to be a problem solver for the rest of the delegation. I accepted this position and I am very happy that I did. I felt it was a privilege to be able to lead and teach this group. I am quite thankful that I did have three other returning members. This group was ready and willing to learn, which was quite exciting to me. They were a motivated, fun, and responsible group. So it was a pleasure to be their leader. I learned that I am capable of handling the tasks and responsibilities that a leadership position requires.
Experiencing something exciting in the realm of the United Nations, practicing life skills, learning about yourself, meeting new people from all over the world, and making new friendships are just some of the non-academic benefits of the NMUN experience. These are the impressions that I will carry with me and remember when I am older and think back to my days here at Rider. It was a truly great experience!
I learned a lot about workings in the United Nations. Before, I only heard or read about it from professors. My experience with NMUN was like an out of the classroom experience. I actually experienced the workings of the United Nations which is something you just cannot hear about or read in a textbook. You have to get out there and learn from experience. This is the major reason I would love to do this again, even if I did not receive credits for this class. This is a very valuable class to me.
I derived a lot of non-academic benefits from participating in NMUN. The major benefits were working together with other students as a team, compromising and gaining speaking skills. I learned about putting personal feeling aside while working with others. It was not like the classroom group projects. It was a little different because you really did not know these people, yet you had to work together to achieve a common goal. As far as speaking up and making compromises, that came along with the teamwork. In order to get your point across, you have to speak and compromise on virtually every aspect.
You get many benefits from Model UN that you cannot get from the classroom, no matter what class you take or whatever major you choose. I, myself, was a little hesitant about joining because of my shyness as well as being unsure as to what Model UN was about or what I would get out of it. Now, that I look back on it, it was a good decision to join NMUN and that's why I am joining Model UN next year as well.
Going into this years NMUN as second year member, I decided that I would take into account all of the mistakes I made last year, and not let them happen this year. I would say that I was very successful in doing this, which in turn made my trip to New York a lot more rewarding. I expected to use all of the experience I gained at my first NMUN, to make my second trip more successful. Judging by mine and Mike Kaiser's ability to get things accomplished in New York, I would say that most of my expectations were met. To be truthful though, I would have loved to have had the team win an award.
Because of my previous experience at last year's NMUN, I was able to use caucusing periods more effectively this year. It is one of the only times that a delegate has the ability to get their countries views across, and then argue or debate their significance. I was able to use caucusing periods to my advantage this year.
Academically speaking, I was able to gain a great knowledge of how countries from around the world react to issues that pose consequences to all of human life. The issues that I dealt with at the NMUN, such as chemical and biological weapon disarmament, are grave in nature, the outcomes of which will have an effect on everyone in the world.
It is not just the issues themselves that I gained a better knowledge of, I also learned how to communicate my ideas more effectively. I was able to work in group setting and communicate the views of our country to a bunch of complete strangers. I also learned some things this year that I did not learn last year. I learned that using the various rules of procedure to your advantage is a great help in obtaining some of your goals. I also learned that conducting yourself in a diplomatic manner can be difficult at times, especially when those around you are not.
The non-academic benefits I gained from NMUN are just as great as the academic ones. NMUN allows an individual to develop the social skills that are necessary to survive in the world today. Going into a room filled with over three hundred people that you don't know, and then being able to get your views across is not an easy thing. NMUN makes it possible for an individual to better their communication skills, and their ability to work within a group setting, two skills that are essential in the workplace.
From the perspective of non-academic benefits, I made many new friends. I got the opportunity to meet new and interesting people. I keep thinking to myself that if I never participated in NMUN I would not have opened myself up to new people and would have denied myself the opportunity to do something different. Therefore, I must say I learned the value of friendship and I hope that I can keep in touch with my fellow delegates over the years.
There were several academic benefits form participating in 1997 NMUN. The fact that one can work with other student from other schools was the most important to me. It also prepares one in the field of international relations in pursuance of a career. It is worthwhile to be able to work well with fellow students in one common goal of representing the nation assigned to the best of each student's ability.
As far as non-academic benefits of participation in NMUN the most important is the friendships and working relationships that develop with the other students of the group. It is a great experience to go to New York and to meet other student from other parts of the United States as well as the rest of the world. It was definitely the highlight of my entire academic career up till now.
On the whole it was a great experience and recommend it strongly to anyone who has never been a part of any formal voting or committee type of event.
I learned more about how to deal and negotiate with people as well as became more comfortable with formal rules of procedure. I also learned a lot about the UN and in particular the Plenary committee. Prior to this class I had no idea what any committee did. I also learned a great deal about working papers and resolutions in particular operative clauses etc.
The one thing I became more proficient at was budgeting my time and conducting research particularly on the Internet. This class forces me to read and to learn my topic as well as budgeting my time to achieve the work load that I encounter. You only get out of this class what you put in and no one is going to hold your hand. You learn to get it done.
When one experiences something it is never a memory lost, when one reads or takes an exam you may only remember for that exam. I believe that for the rest of my life I will carry this experience around with me. I doubt I would have been able to learn in one semester as I did in Model UN. The simulations, Internet experience, and the participation in New York constitutes more than any other class that I have had the opportunity to take at Rider.
Non-academic benefits are also important. I learn to work with a team, to rely on them. I also learn to work with people that I have never met in the matter of hours. I realize the frustrations of legislatures and have a better understanding why it is hard to pass some things in Congress. I learn to make speeches on moment's notice and the importance of what just 2 minutes can make. I put all type of shyness away and inter-relate as fast as possible.
I expected NUMN in New York to be very challenging and overwhelming, so I had to prepare myself to be aggressive and professional. When I arrived that first day, I must say that the number of students and participants overwhelmed me at first, but towards the end of the day I assured myself that they were just as anxious as I was and that they were there trying to do the same thing I was. I think the social gathering and atmosphere after the long day sessions really helped break the "ice" for me and a lot of students as well. These social gatherings gave participants a chance to un-wind and just meet new people. Committee sessions were just as demanding as I expected them to be. In Committee one must be very aggressive in caucus meetings to get one's ideas across, but at the same time be very professional and diplomatic. The prior simulations at school helped tremendously, and I think the second year members and teacher deserve a lot of credit for adequately preparing the first year members such as myself. The simulations gave me a great knowledge of how to write a working paper, procedural rules, caucusing techniques and behavior, and just diplomatic respect for the committee and delegation. Because of these simulations, I was able to perform well in my committee in New York. I was glad to see all of the delegates in my committee express so many different ideas, and able to work together on their ideas. I'm happy to say that all four resolutions in our committee were passed, and our country helped co-sponsor one of the resolutions and was a signatory for another. There was one issue that I was disappointed in or didn't expect would happen; I think , along with my other team members, that a lot of countries did not play in character. This scenario made things very difficult in caucusing meetings, and at times frustrated me a lot. I did not expect this to happen when I set out for New York, but I guess not all teams had the same diplomatic values and guidelines given to them as we did.
The International Relations course here at Rider really gives you important background information of the United Nations, and I encourage all future members to take the course in order to be well prepared for NMUN.
I have always been interested in International Relations and Diplomacy. This NMUN conference gave me a feel of how the actual workings of day to day delegations in committee go on. This conference showed me how frustrating and difficult some issues in committee can be, and how other countries have different values or views on issues that we as Americans don't have. This conference showed me how countries even in times of disagreement act very courteous and professional towards one another, and how the world must be able to make compromises if we are to accomplish anything. At this conference I had a lot fun and gained a lot of good experiences. I met a lot of new people from all over country and even from other countries as well. But the most memorable experiences, come from just bonding with my fellow teammates who I did not know well prior to this conference. We spent a lot time after sessions socializing and having fun.
I have learned how the United Nations works by hands-on experience. I have learned how to write resolutions, working papers, how to speak diplomatically. I have learned about a country extensively, Trinidad and Tobago.
The academic benefits really make the class worth more than what I could possibly put into it. My experience in NMUN, has given me more knowledge than any other class that I have ever taken in college, or my life. The academic experience is worth more than words could possibly describe. In certain aspects I have more political experience and education than any political science major that has not participated in NMUN. I am glad that I was granted the opportunity to become involved in this project.
I made a lot of friends, starting with my own team. I am nor more culturally rounded due to my experience in NMUN. I had lunch with people from Egypt, Panama, Canada, and many other countries. How can you benefit more when it comes to learning about other cultures? There was never a dull moment. I was able to meet a few kids from my country of origin, Lebanon, and because of this I am more in tune to what is going on in my own country. Every one that I had met was multilingual which overwhelmingly impressed me. As much as it might seem insignificant, I was able to take the train for the first time in my life, which was an experience for me.
NMUN is a project,
experience, and class that I will never forget for as long as I live, and
it had made me a better, more rounded person, for which I am eternally
My experience this year was by far very different from last year. I learned that even though we do not participate in NMUN year around, we were adequately prepared. It seemed like those who engaged in this longer than we were might not have known the rules but tried to manipulate others to see their views on which they played themselves out of character in most instances.
What I learned non-academically this year that I didn't know last year was how to pace myself. I really relaxed during breaks and I went to sleep early in the night so that I could keep my concentration while I was in committee especially for the morning sessions.
The greatest non-academic benefit that I derived from participating in the 1998 NMUN is the relationships that I developed with my teammates. I can honestly say that I consider all of the other nine members of the team to now be my friends to keep in touch with all of the team members.
The experience of the 1998 NMUN may be the highlight of my academic career at Rider. When I was asked to be team leader I was not sure what I was getting myself into. I had no idea that I could change so much over the course of two semesters. I was one of the quietest people on the 1997 NMUN team, and this year I "came out of my shell."
There were times during the Fall
1997 semester when I felt that I would not be able to handle it. This was
before I knew how strong the 1998 team was going to be. There was also
a time during this semester when I was worried about the status of the
team, and if we would be able to make through the week in New York. The
team shattered all of my doubts once we were at the conference. Every single
member of the 1998 NMUN team put 110% into their committees at the conference.
Another aspect of the 1998 NMUN experience is the way that the team came
together at the conference. We had ten different team members, with ten
different conflicting personalities. We realized that we had to put our
differences aside and concentrate on the task at hand. I was also pleased
with the friendships that I made with my team members. For these reasons
I am willing to do whatever it takes to become a member of the 1999 Rider
University National Model United Nations.
Speaking publicly and discussing
issues in a more confident manner are two things I excelled at this year
and not so much last year. This year my confidence in my topic allowed
me to do well with speeches and caucusing. The fact that I did not have
a committee partner made put more pressure on myself to be active and aggressive
in my committee.
When NMUN first met in the Fall, and began in the Spring, I was informed that the team was made of everyone's personal strengths. Now after my experience in New York, I can honestly say that my strengths were further developed by the entire semester's work. Previous to New York, I had never had to speak publicly, let alone speak under a time limit. This element of NMUN challenged me, to both consolidate my thoughts into one coherent speech, and to feel comfortable in front of a large crowd. The caucusing periods that we practiced during simulation, and in New York, had also helped me in my ability to make compromises and to see issues from multiple angles. This is a benefit that will carry over into my other classes in that I will hereby be more proficient in my analytical skills.
Besides the many academic qualities
that were enhanced by my experience, I can also say that I have learned
a great deal about myself and my teammates outside of the classroom. I
would first like to add that the members of the 1998 team were very dedicated
individuals, yet differed in many ways. Normally opposing personalities
may cause some tension, but I feel that on April 7,1998, those personalities
made a unit. NMUN has given me nine new friends. I found myself able to
gel with nine people whom I previously had not. Besides the obvious group
benefits, NMUN had helped me find out some things about myself. In New
York I found that I had strengths that I did not even consider before.
I am a good listener. I listened to everyone's stories when they came back
from their sessions. I took their problems and or strengths and applied
them to my own sessions. This allowed me to notice even more how important
having a team really is.
I definitely got a chance to learn the fastest ways to gain information from the net, and learned about the international struggles which effect the Middle East region. I learned about the world in a the closest way possible, to act it out. We covered topics that the real United Nations are dealing with every day, from as a far back as 1948. I learned many things about the United Nation's procedure, and about how other countries are in terms of the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict.
Non-academically I learned good ways of meeting new people. I had to work with people I had never met before, and friends were created. I met two girls from Maryland and a guy who is fellow scout and we have planned a camping trip in the Rockies.
I learned how difficult things can be when there are difficult problems with many different people involved in the solution, furthermore, how these different countries want things done a certain way. Working together with people I had just met was by far the greatest non-academic gain from participating in Model United Nations. At first you are nervous, but as you discuss your topics with others, or things in common you are immediately aware that you will not forget he experience.
Overall, the Model United Nations experience was better than any academic club I have ever participated in. I loved how we talked to a member of the real Jordanian Mission in New York and learned from the real people what the issues were from a citizen of another country. I felt as if I could see what was it like to live and believe what he did in terms policy formation. This person from the mission was very helpful from career point of view for this feeling. He was able to show me the realness of living in the area and the understanding of the difficulty in dealing with problems like the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
Being in the fourth committee all
by myself was a difficult task. I had to do everything myself, and at times
is was very frustrating. But the experience and what you learn far outweigh
any stress; the experience and time is truly worth the effort.
I learned better public speaking
skills, and how to present an argument to a group of people. I learned
how to carry myself and get accomplished what I previously thought impossible.
At the conference, the human resources available to delegates were fabulous. While there, I got to hear speak -- and in most cases, ask questions of -- three directors of UN agencies, one US Army General (formerly the director of NATO operations in Bosnia), one representative of the Jordanian mission to the UN, and several staff members of the NMUN conference. [Listening and speaking to these individuals made me feel lucky and honored not just that I was face-to-face with such accomplished and important people, but also that they cared to share some of their knowledge and experiences with us first hand, and gave us the opportunity to find out, from the sources, themselves, what the issues and their own jobs really meant to them.]
On a very personal note, as the grandson
of a Polish Jew, until a few years ago, I could not conceive of even speaking
to a German person, much less being friendly with one; as it happened in
New York, though, not only did I end up working with and literally sitting
next to two students from Germany, but I actually enjoyed them a lot. As
I said, I could ever have imagined that happening, and for me it was very
healing. I suppose, then, you could generally say that the most significant
non-academic benefit of my participation in MUN was the opportunity I had
to work with people from a variety of backgrounds.
In comparison to other courses, I would say that NMUN is very demanding and requires a lot more effort than a normal course. In a normal course there are set guidelines. After the first day when you acquire the syllabus you know what amount of effort the course demands. NMUN allows the student to determine what kind of effort is necessary to achieve the goal of a distinguished delegate. I put a lot of effort into the preparation for the conference because I love the spotlight. I love it when another delegation comes up to my own and asks, "What do we do next?" So, yes, compared to other classes I put in a lot more effort into NMUN, but then again when you are up against 2699 other students in nearly 200 schools from around the world with a strong competitive spirit what would you expect?
I am an English Writing Major at Rider University. The academic benefits go beyond any major, minor, etc. I have learned about the political issues of the entire world, I have learned how to represent the interests of different cultures and regimes through deciding international policy, I have learned about the infrastructure, culture, politics policies, problems, economy, and domestic issues of countless countries; but, most amazing of all, I have learned how all 186 member states of the United Nations work in unison to solve problems and discuss issues that effect the entire world and how to actually solve the problems myself through interaction with other delegations in mock United Nations Conference in NY... What an awarding experience it is!
I learned how to create working papers, follow procedure efficiently, and every aspect of the issues, policies, infrastructure, and charter of two countries, Trinidad and Tobago (1997) and The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (1998).
The non-academic benefits surpass the academic benefits and I am not stating this in a bad way, but a good way. To be blunt and realistic, I would not be the same person if I was never a part of the NMUN experience. Rider University is an institution of higher learning and prepares the student for the competition in the world. I have had quite an academic career at Rider. I have a dean's list average, I am in three honor societies, I have been part of SGA, RHA, and am a known capable solicitor for donations for various events on campus. Nothing compares to NMUN. I am who I am, and my confidence to become what I want to be in life is derived from my experience with NMUN.
The "unrecognized" and obviously "underrated" and "undercapitalized" program that Rider provides but doesn't know about has taught me how to prepare, how to interact with people, how to cope with frustration and stress and turn it into productive, positive energy, how to express myself with confidence, and most importantly, NMUN has nurtured my leadership skills.
This year the NMUN experience has once again put me to the test, in a more challenging committee and atmosphere to represent the need of Jordan and take initiative over leadership in the region and gradually the committee. Steve and I made an excellent team and we were able to meet the challenge and come out glorious and on top. Last year, the committee I was a part of,
I believe that our performance as a team in each of our committees is very commendable this year and we were completely deserving of the Outstanding Delegation Award.
As far as my career goes with NMUN,
thank you Rider University for providing me with the means for becoming
a future leader later in life through the NMUN Program. Thank you NMUN
for the experience, the team is like family, and most of all, thank you
Dr. Phan for giving an English Writing Major, who talks a lot, a chance
to prove himself to the team and you and myself. I hope my performance
was everything you wanted from me and more... Good Luck Next Year - Long
Live the National Model United Nations!!!
Some non-academic benefits include: making friends and networking with college students from around the world, becoming close friends with fellow Rider teammates, staying in a NICE hotel for a week in New York, NY.
What non-academic benefits did
you derive from participating in the 1998 NMUN?
Team work and communication skills are an invaluable part of the NMUN experience. It was also lots of fun.
To the Rider NMUN home page
Updated September 9, 1998.