To protect the world from devastation, to unite all peoples within our nation. The truth is, beyond the light of Team Rocket, this motto propels the Model United Nations at UCLA travel team, which loves two main things: MUN and fun. Besides our high school and college conferences, the MUN team often travels across the country, and sometimes out of it, to debate with peers at different universities. Devastating global affairs are often resolved through cooperation in committee rooms, and different nations can be unified when passing initiatives to save the world. This is MUN. Now here are three strong reasons why traveling with the team to conferences at other colleges is FUN, regardless of your past experiences or current skill level:
1. Fascinating friends (and free flights!)
Barack Obama. Ban Ki-Moon. Samuel L. Jackson. These amazing icons all participated in Model United Nations, and some of their charisma and statesmanship could rub off on you if you too debated as Julius Caesar on the Roman Senate committee or embodied Estonian values while combating climate change on the United Nations Environment Programme. The team regularly travels within California to conferences at USC, UC Davis, and UC Berkeley and outside the state to conferences at Columbia, the University of Chicago, and Harvard. Everything—flights and hotel rooms, are paid for with club funds, at no expense to you.
A free opportunity to compete at scenic schools—but wait, there’s more. Your teammates, the people you train with, room with, debate with or against, are along for the ride. When you spend your weekdays and weekends with this tight group of people, you join a family that will help you prepare position papers and cheer wildly when you win your gavel. Beyond MUN, you gain a group that will be at the core of your college career. And beyond this group at UCLA, you gain friends from a variety of schools when you travel with us. Since success in MUN requires cooperation and compromise, you will meet interesting people in committees, meeting in conference after conference until you have an automatic ally, and more importantly, a friend. At the end of his senior year, one Executive Board member described having a place to crash in any country, because of the friends he had made in MUN. Join us for worldwide couch surfing.
2. Unique understanding
If you could go back to the past during the Trojan War, participate in the Church of Scientology in the present, or break space and time by being in Gotham…what would you do? This scenario is at the center of many college crisis committees, in which delegates usually represent a historical or fictional figure and can change the direction and outcome of debates. It’s the perfect opportunity for creative what-if situations, and an education in historical events like the Sri Lankan Civil War and the BP Oil Spill. Delegates can also compete in General Assembly committees, where they typically represent a country on a real UN committee like the DISEC, WHO, or Security Council, and debate real world issues of disarmament and guaranteeing women’s rights. Innovative solutions and inspiring collaborations often emerge from these committees, and provide a further foundation of worldly knowledge and analysis.
This research and remembering is facilitated by weekly travel team trainings before conferences, in which the head delegates assist with strategic choices and position paper writing for General Assembly delegates. No MUN experience? No problem! As long as you can articulate your ideas well, you can easily pick up the format and be mentored by seasoned debaters. Additionally, news briefings occur at our general meetings, so that you will always be riding the current of global events, and have an informed team to discuss them with. This learning opportunity is also a great professional networking opportunity—the people you meet in the club and at conferences exhibit stellar ambition and perseverance, with the credentials to back it up—besides Facebook friends, you’ll also make a ton of valuable LinkedIn connections.
3. National notoriety
Best Delegate, a premiere MUN website, puts it best in describing the MUN at UCLA team’s rank of #9 on their annual college rankings: “UCLA makes their debut in the Top 10 this year only one year after re-entering the Top 25, and this is their highest rank ever. The team nearly went undefeated on the West Coast…” As the #1 public university, rankings aren’t the most important thing, but they certainly help in our team’s formidable reputation, which every delegate proudly contributes to.
When you travel with and debate for this team, you have comfort and pride in the fact of debating with peers who have meteorically risen, and keep persevering every conference. With every gavel, every personal and delegation award, we challenge ourselves to do better, and better. From underdogs, we have proven ourselves at the top, and this is the tradition and spirit you join when you join travel team. So catch the team at all the tryouts, and choose us!