UA International Relations Club hosts Alabama Model United Nations conferenceBy Emily Hillhouse | 02/24/2016 8:43pm
Photo courtesy of Jon Vincent
On the weekend of Feb. 19-21, the UA International Relations Club hosted the Alabama Model United Nations Conference, an annual conference held on campus for high school students interested in international relations and geopolitics.
A Model United Nations conference is an educational conference that allows participants, or delegates, the opportunity to simulate the United Nations through discussions on foreign affairs, diplomacy and more. This year marked the International Relations Club’s eighth year of inviting high schoolers from across the region interested in Model United Nations to the University to participate in ALMUN.
“This year’s ALMUN ... had over 150 delegates from across Alabama and the Southeast in attendance,” said head of the conference, Secretary General Jon Vincent. “Whether it was serving on Kim Jong-Un’s ‘cabinet’ or discussing how to provide adequate healthcare to refugees, [delegates] all had good things to say about it, with many saying it was our best conference on record.”
Brandon Hooks, a senior majoring in international relations and economics and president of the International Relations Club, attended ALMUN in high school and has been involved with the conference for six years.
“I got involved my junior year of high school and loved ALMUN compared to other conferences,” he said.
One interesting aspect of ALMUN is that it is put on entirely by the students who are members of the International Relations Club. The club elects a Secretary General each year to oversee the logistics and planning of the conference. From there, members of the club volunteer their time to facilitate this process and help run the different committees and facets of the conference.
“ALMUN is truly the event that every club member helps with because it just requires that much collaboration,” Hooks said. “ALMUN stands out from other conferences in that we focus on quality over quantity; we opt for smaller, educationally-based committees that give all students the opportunity to contribute and learn during their time at Alabama. We also run crisis committees in order to challenge the students we host, giving them an opportunity that most other conferences do not offer.”
If you are interested in joining the International Relations Club, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about this year’s ALMUN, visit www.almun.org.