An Exciting Year Ahead - and Ways for you to Be More Involved!
Lynn Bartley, President
GL-UNA's Board of Directors had a very productive strategic planning session in January, and we want to share our plans for 2016 with you.
EVENTS: You can look forward to many great events throughout the year, many of which we will plan and host with community partners. You'll find a schedule on GL-UNA's web site under the Events tab. Details will be posted as they become available, so check back often!
ADVOCACY: Advocacy Chair Dave Wiley strives to send you the most pertinent, timely, and meaningful information about what's happening with the United Nations, updates on the US role in supporting the UN, opportunities to reach out to legislators, and how you can increase the impact of the dollars you donate to UN causes.
We hope that you take advantage of Dave's efforts throughout 2016. He makes it easy for us to make a difference with the UN and the world!
MEMBERSHIP: Vice President of Membership Bob Barnhart and the membership committee have exciting plans to build GL-UNA's membership. Please see a special message from Bob below. You can help Bob and the membership committee by encouraging your friends to join GL-UNA, attend our events, and become involved in our advocacy work. Thank you!
AFFILIATE ORGANIZATIONS: This year GL-UNA plans to increase the number of its "Affiliate Organizations," area organizations that have formally committed to working closely with us as we strive to provide interesting and informative programs throughout the year. You can see a list of current affiliates on GL-UNA's web site under the "Affiliate Organizations" tab. If you'd like to learn more about them, simply click the link that is provided for each organization. The benefits of affiliation are two-way. If you are a member of an organization that supports the work of the United Nations Assocation and/or has a mission and values similar to ours, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for more information about becoming an affiliate organization.
INVOLVING YOUTH: We intend to increase youth engagement by connecting with teacher representatives from several area schools. We also plan to support existing Model UN Clubs as well as encourage new ones to form. If you would like to help get a Model UN Club started at your child's middle- or high-school, please contact us at email@example.com to get the process started. Our popular World Friendship Day programs will be held in at least two schools this year. We host these programs in partnership with Peace Education Center and LATTICE, two of our affiliate organizations. A special program co-hosted by GL-UNA and Haslett High School will celebrate International Women's Day.
COMMUNICATION: GL-UNA will increase social media outreach this year on our Facebook page and by increasing our use of Twitter in order to reach a broader range in our community. If you would like to help us work on social media outreach, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's a GREAT time to become a member of GL-UNA!
Bob Barnhart, Vice President for Membership
GL-UNA board members are very enthusiastic about the United Nations and the work that GL-UNA is doing to provide education and support for the diverse and vital efforts of the UN. “I am interested in international relations and view the UN as an indispensable organization for promoting peace, economic development, and cooperation among nations,” states Past Board President, Joe Hess. Board member Han Huynh adds, “The world we live in is small and interconnected. Being a member of GLUNA broadens my appreciation of what the United Nations set out to accomplish for the welfare, peace and harmony of the entire world population. It will help me to become a more responsible global citizen.” Hans’ wife Judy Huynh, GL-UNA Board secretary, chimes in, ”I think the programs are of great value … because they always give me a broader perspective on events in the world. They give me a chance to meet with a great diversity of people and have conversations that matter.”
Becoming an active member of GL-UNA will provide a depth of learning and understanding for the participant and offers them an avenue to impact the world whether a teenager in high school, someone in mid-career, or a senior citizen. Board member Dasha Shamrova, a Ph.D. student in the School of Social Work at MSU, observes, “GLUNA offers an opportunity to connect with an organization that is a part of the global network of people who care about the world – an opportunity to meet people from around the world.” High school student, Shreya Srivastava enthuses, “This organization is so passionate about organizing events for people of all ages, backgrounds, and interests that every member will always have something to look forward to. Also, the knowledge you gain from listening to incredible speakers and meeting other inspiring people is invaluable. As our community continues to become more diverse, it is more than ever necessary to expose yourself to the different people and cultures you may interact with. GLUNA provides many opportunities for meeting such people and cultures; and those experiences will definitely resonate forever.”
Isn’t this the kind of organization you would like to be a part of or, if already a member, to be more active in? It’s easy to join and become a part of this learning, sharing, impacting community. Introductory memberships are just $25; please be sure to select Greater Lansing Chapter in the chapter selection drop down box. Click here to join today. Students aged 25 or under can join UNA-USA for free at http://genun.unausa.org/join.
Exciting First for Haslett High School’s Model UN
By Shreya Srivistava
Since its beginning at the end of the 2015 school year, Haslett High School’s Model UN Club has been involved in numerous educational and enjoyable activities. On January 9th, six members of the club participated in their first Model UN conference at Walled Lake Western High School, a regional event sponsored by Metro Detroit’s Model UN. Haslett was one of nine high schools (175 students total) participating.
Before the conference, participants were assigned countries and tasked with researching them to understand the political policies, social restrictions, and general condition of each. Haslett’s assignment included the nations of Israel, Australia, Malaysia, Ivory Coast, Colombia, and Germany. Participants also practiced debate and public speaking skills, focusing on ways to cooperate with other nations. One of the main challenges for participants in a Model UN conference is staying true to their assigned country’s policies. Many students who are assigned countries drastically different from the US find it difficult to advocate for that country, making the Model UN experience even more interesting.
Haslett High School’s Model UN group received some training before the event. Staff from Metro Detroit’s Model UN offered training to clubs that had never before been to a Model UN conference. Training included explanations of conference rules and procedures and tips on how the club should prepare. The training session was very helpful, and the speaker provided valuable advice on how to expand and improve Haslett’s Model UN Club.
At the conference, five of the six Haslett students participating were part of the Blue Committee focused on both reforming the International Criminal Court and addressing the issue of climate change. The other Haslett student was part of the Ad-Hoc Committee which focused on cyber security and cyber terrorism. During the conference, each delegate was allotted ten minutes for an opening speech about their assigned county’s position on either the Blue or the Ad-Hoc Committee’s topics and to answer questions from participants representing other nations. After the speeches, the delegates interacted in caucuses to write resolutions aimed at successfully solving the conflicting issues associated with each country’s topic. The chair decided which resolutions could be brought to the floor, and delegates then voted for which resolutions to pass.
Overall, the Haslett Model UN club performed very well at the conference. One of their members (Hannah Kempel) won a Consummate Delegate Award for her efforts in representing Israel. As this was Haslett’s first Model UN conference, the accomplishment was very exciting, and all members felt that the experience was enjoyable, educational, and important. Model UN provides students with the opportunity to learn about the world, improve public speaking skills, and get a closer look at how the United Nations functions. Because of this, Haslett High School’s Model UN students hope that many more Model UN clubs will be formed in our community in the near future. Learn more about Model UN clubs here.
Seventeen Goals to Transform Our World
The UN's Sustainable Development Goals officially came into force on January 1, 2016. Learn more about the goals by clicking on this link or by visiting the home page at www.gluna.org where you'll find links to resources that you can use to help work on the goals. We'll update the information regularly, so check back often.Thank you!
Watch for the next issue of the CommUNAcator in June!