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A group of students have formed a new society on campus to hold debates imitating topics discussed by the United Nations and create resolutions accordingly. The Lancaster University Model United Nations Society (LUMUN) offers students the opportunity to act as a particular state, and act in that nation’s interests.
Recent topics for discussion have included the Korean Peninsula Crisis, the Middle East Conflict, the Egypt Riots and a mock Security Council meeting concerning Wikileaks.
The society is a branch of the Model United Nations, which has a large presence on many North American university campuses, including Harvard, UC Berkeley, and The Hague University. Oxford and Cambridge both have Model United Nations Societies and university chapters often meet for national or regional conferences. The organisation has been running since the 1920s where university clubs emulated the League of Nations.
LUMUN was set up by Mahesh Sheshadri, who is now Vice President of the Society who has previously been involved in Model United Nations. Talking about a previous event he attended Sheshadri said, “I was debating political matters against top class debaters from the world’s best universities at that conference. It felt like I was in the real UN.” He set up the society so he “could share these new experiences and feelings with people who not only like to debate about recent incidents but also like to socialize with others who are from different background and cultures.”
The society also offers its members the chance to travel extensively, from Asia to America, and meet other people from across the country and other parts of the world.
LUMUN is planning to meet their York counterparts during Roses Weekend and are attending various other conferences throughout the year, including at Warwick and Oxford University. They are hoping to host their own conference in the next few years.
The society offers students the opportunity to practice their debating and analytical skills, whilst learning more about international relations, diplomacy, negotiation and conflict prevention.
Members’ experiences range from highly skilled people to newly introduced enthusiasts, the more experienced members leading debates and helping the newer members get involved.
Each member is assigned a country, from which they have to argue for a resolution which reflects and advances their interests, aims and points of contention.
LUMUN is looking for new members and meets each week at 6pm on Tuesdays in Management School Lecture Theatre 2, and can be found on Facebook under Lancaster University Model United Nations Society. The society charges £4 to join. The society is also holding an information session for prospective members in the following weeks.