For two days (April 8-9) all across campus, Claremont McKenna College and the CMC Model United Nations (CMCMUN) student organization will host nearly 600 high school students for the annual McKennaMUN V conference. During the conference, through discussion and debate, visiting high school delegates are exposed to critical global diplomacy topics such as cyberwar, refugee rights, and global pandemics. Under the guidance of the McKennaMUN staff, delegates hone their writing, negotiating, and public speaking skills.
CMCMUN is a student-run organization. The club has become nationally reputable, winning best delegation for its size division at the Harvard National Model United National (HNMUN) Conference in February. CMCMUN established the McKennaMUN V conference in 2013, and the event has grown exponentially since.
For the 35 CMCMUN student club members and additional staff, hosting the McKennaMUN V conference is a lot of work. Planning for each conference starts nearly a year in advance. And while the high school delegates learn a great deal and benefit from the McKennaMUN V conference, hosting the conference benefits the CMC students involved as well, along with CMC as a whole.
By hosting the McKennaMUN event, CMC’s Model UN team is able to generate revenue, some of which helps to pay for the team to travel nationally to compete. Second, current team members serve as committee chairs for the McKennaMUN conference, write background guides for the conference, and help to organize and plan the conference, all of which provide opportunities to gain new skill sets.
“It's [CMCMUN] an excellent leadership opportunity for students on campus, because it teaches you so much about organization. You learn how to manage people really well, including how to be effective on your own, while also being an effective delegator,” McKennaMUN Director General Kate Ridenour ’18 said. “MUN overall, I think, has done a wonderful job of teaching me public speaking skills, something that I wasn't great at before. It has also improved my ability to read people, and understand how diplomacy works in the real world. It's not just all smiles and handshakes.”
Also, McKennaMUN serves as a showcase of Claremont McKenna College to the high school students who participate. Several current members of the CMCMUN team attended the McKennaMUN conference, and then decided to apply to CMC after competing in the event.
For more information on the conference, including a schedule of events, committee topics, and much more, please visit the McKennaMUN V webpage.