A few weeks ago the Model United Nations (Model U.N.) club began to change its name to Suffolk University International Affairs Association, a new-and-improved version of sorts, with some improvements and trips planned. Now that they are back from the trip to the country’s capital, the club is in full swing and preparing for the upcoming trip to New York while expanding its presence on campus.
To extend the club’s activities and meaning past the conferences and Model U.N. discussions, the Suffolk University Independent Affairs Association started planning for the official name change from Model U.N. to SUIAA. Cori Simmons, president of the popular student group, said, “as far as the name change, it is still in the works. The new constitution, which has been completed, has the approval of E-Board members, and at the next meeting it will hopefully be adopted and ratified as is by the full General Membership to make the name-change official. While the name change will be official, we understand that marketing and re-branding takes time.”
With the name improvement, they still plan on focusing on the original goals of Model U.N. Simmons continued, explaining that “people know us as Model United Nations, and we will continue to be the club on-campus that provides the MUN experience to students. In the coming months as we move into next semester, we hope to continue to develop our club as a multi-faceted organization, beyond just our name change.”
On campus, they seem to be garnering a lot of interest. Simmons, talking about membership growth, says that the club has grown this semester as many of the current members are bringing friends and fellow classmates to meetings, helping to increase the turnout. One thing that probably helps attendance and involvement is the trips that they attend every year.
SUIAA recently returned from a weekend in Washington, D.C. for a National Conference. During the conference, the group had an opportunity to represent two countries, Ghana and Spain, since they brought 19 students. They worked on topics including “youth poverty in the Economic and Social Council, the role of media in international security in the General Assembly, and the Situation in Iran in the International Atomic Energy Agency.” Due to the dangerous threat of Hurricane Sandy looming just down the coast, they had to leave a day early. However, Simmons said “Suffolk University still received an Honorable Mention for its representation of Ghana at the awards ceremony.”
To her memory, Simmons said this is the only award they received, and called it a “a true testament to how much we have grown as an organization. It is something we are extremely proud of.”
While on the trip in D.C., the Model U.N. delegation from Suffolk got to see Ambassador George Moose at the US Institute for Peace and discovered work from all over the world including East Africa and Iraq. Then they visited the U.S. State Department and met with the Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns. He sat down with them and took part in a discussion about what is currently happening in the world and how the State Department is involved.
After such an enjoyable trip, the SUIAA still has more planned, specifically another conference, this time in New York City.
“Our next move is our National Model United Nations Conference in New York City (NMUN-NY). We have attended this conference over the past several years, and it is always a favorite of students,” said Simmons.
Simmons explained “the most exciting thing for the SUIAA this year is that we again get to represent Spain. In past years we have never been able to represent such a large and significant delegation, so we are thrilled at this opportunity.”
For newcomers with interest in attending, the SUIAA is “accepting applications this week and next for the Travel Team we will bring to NYC.” To reach them, Simmons recommends all interested people to attend “the meeting in Sawyer 132 at 1 p.m. on Dec. 4 or join us on SUConnect in order to receive our email with the application attached.” With over 20 seats open for the Travel Team on the New York City trip, they are looking for students that are “passionate and dedicated… who would love to become a part of our team.”