The Model United Nations (MUN) program at ASFM is huge. MUN is a complete course offered at ASFM, which enhances, rather than replaces, the normal curriculum. It is a full-fledged class offered from grades seven to twelve instead of either the Social Studies class (in Middle School) or the Character Education class (in High School). MUN students still see most of the material from the regular courses, but a lot of time is dedicated towards simulation preparation, current events, and other United Nations related pursuits.
MUN is a class that consists of 58 minutes of instruction time every day. This level of dedication on the part of our school really enhances the program, giving us the flexibility and attention we need. During the school year, there are several events that prepare MUN students in both the organization of and participation in simulations.
One of these events is MINIMUN, a practice simulation for sixth grade students meant to introduce them to MUN and encourage them to join the program. We also host a similar MINIMUN for seventh grade MUN students who are already part of the program, in order for them to become even more familiar with the purposes and workings of MUN. In addition, we also run two so-called In-House simulations, one for Middle School and one for High School, exclusively for ASFM students. These are practice simulations and typically two-day events, Monday and Tuesday, after school from 3:30pm to 6:00pm.
Traditionally, the sixth grade MINIMUN and the Middle School In-House simulations are both run by the tenth grade MUN class. The seventh grade MINIMUN and the High School In-House are run by the eleventh grade MUN class. These tenth and eleventh grade students are responsible for recruiting chairs to run the committees, writing the background papers, registering students and their countries, distributing country placards, and hosting the actual event.
The practice simulations mentioned above are a lot of work, but in effect simply practice. They are organized and run in the span of a few weeks. IMMUNS, the real annual simulation is a whole-year affair. The Secretariat class is in charge of organizing and running this simulation. These momentous tasks are overtaken throughout the school year, along with the normal curriculum, which includes Human Rights, Global Politics, and World Religions.
Students running the larger simulations are responsible for, among other things: recruiting chairs, writing background papers, printing simulation materials (pens, placards, booklets, badges, room signs, coffee mugs, etc.), creating this website, finding sponsors, inviting delegates, collecting delegate fees, assigning countries, holding ceremonies (i.e. organizing auditorium staff, choir, guest speakers, and movies), providing meals and breaks, organizing parties, finding emergency delegates and topics, and attending to the needs of teachers, to name a few. It’s an enormous task, and very stressful for the Secretariat class, but in the end, everyone enjoys having participated.