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By David E. Hubler
Contributor, Online Learning Tips
Three APUS faculty members from the Legal Studies program and the International Relations program in the School of Security and Global Studies have begun coaching a group of volunteer students. This group will become the university’s first team to participate in the National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference in Washington, D.C. November 9-11.
The NMUN is the world’s largest intercollegiate Model UN conference. Students from around the world discuss issues at the forefront of international relations.
The American Public University and American Military University team will consist of three to five delegates with another five students as alternates. Together, they form the nucleus of a new Model UN Club on campus.
As the club grows, the students will be able to host their own internal UN debates and enter more than one team in future international competitions.
The November Model UN competition will include more than 900 university students from around the world. Each school will represent a UN member nation.
Dr. Mily Kao, adjunct instructor in the School of Security and Global Studies and one of the coaches, says the APUS team will participate as the Czech Republic. The size is “based on the number of students required” to match the size of the country.
Model UN Competition Topic to be Released in Early August
Like all of the teams in the competition, the APUS team won’t know precisely what problem it will debate, formulate resolutions on and address at the model UN competition until the problem is released in early August.
The Model UN competition will also feature a crisis simulation in the Security Council and briefings by members of the D.C. diplomatic community. Delegations may also arrange briefings at nearby embassies or extend their stay to visit national museums and monuments.
In the meantime, the coaches will help the student group familiarize themselves with critical world issues that might be the topic of the conference, such as climate change or nuclear proliferation. The team will also hone their public speaking and debating techniques.
“What we’re trying to do as faculty advisors is teach the team how to make arguments, how to debate the issues and basically present their policy positions,” explains coach Paula Wylie, associate professor of International Relations in the School of Security and Global Studies.
Thorough preparation, which is critical to the team’s success, “takes lots of effort, but it can be done,” says James Barney of the Legal Studies program. He led a successful APUS delegation in its first mock trial competition last year.
Student Team Faces Particular Challenge of Not Meeting in Person until Competition
Barney pointed out that model UN students at traditional schools meet together regularly to work on their strategy and familiarize themselves with the country they will represent.
APUS students, on the other hand, are located all over the world. They must do all of their preparatory work and conferring with their teammates completely online.
In fact, the team won’t meet in person until they gather at the Crystal Gateway Marriott hotel in Arlington, Virginia, for the November competition.
Further Information on Legal Studies and International Relations
The Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies offers in-depth knowledge of the U.S. court system, legal writing and research, legal practice, and various types of law. It emphasizes governance, civil and criminal processes, and the theory and philosophy of justice.
The Bachelor of Arts in International Relations analyzes the nature of modern global relationships. It provides students with an improved understanding of diplomacy, foreign policy analysis, international organizations, global development and international relations theory.
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