Hope for the Future: Diplomacy and International Relations
Model United Nations (MUN) is a team of students who travel around the United States to discuss and debate international topics with other top college and university teams. Members represent countries or government officials in committees with specialized topics. The Tennessee Model UN consist of two components – the Tennessee Travel Team that represents and competes for the university at collegiate conferences and the Volunteer Model United Nations (VolMUN) that hosts a high school conference every February in Knoxville.
The Tennessee Travel Team had its most successful year during their 2017-2018 campaign finishing in the Top 50 in the North American College Model UN World Division Rankings. Additionally, UT produced two nationally recognized MUN All-Stars in Tristan Smith and Alex Clement. In the three years of the travel team’s existence, the group has won countless individual awards, four university awards, and multiple accolades. In the past year, the team participated in Washington, DC, Chicago, and Atlanta with perennial Model UN powerhouses such as the University of Chicago, Harvard, and Georgetown.
“Our team has put forth tremendous effort to become formidable in such a competitive circuit,” says Charles Briones, president of the organization and the head delegate of the travel team. “The travel team consists of delegates who are enthusiastic, hardworking, and resilient.”
Model United Nations focuses on the development of members by providing opportunities to grow their research, speaking, and leadership skills in a fun and engaging environment.
Volunteer Model United Nations (VolMUN) is a three-day high school Model UN conference hosted in February in Knoxville. The upcoming conference is the 20th overall iteration of the event and has become a treasured tradition for the organization.
“Our goal for the conference is to create an impactful Model UN experience from which our delegates will grow and empower others,” says Grant Peterson, secretary general of VolMUN.
This conference is also a chance for MUN delegates to conduct conversation on international relations and explore solutions to global problems; and it has the added benefit of being a great recruiting tool. Getting bright and motivated high school students to campus increases the probabilities they will opt to become Vols when they graduate from high school.