FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions about Rider Model United Nations Team

1. When did Model United Nations get started at Rider and who were the faculty advisers?
• The first team of the National Model United Nations was started at Rider College in 1968 by Dr. Kenneth L. Maxwell of the Department of Political Science.
• From 1969 to 1973, Dr. Chau T. Phan (then known as Dr. Phan T. Chau, therefore the nickname "PT") of the Political Science Department joined Dr. Maxwell as Co-Advisor. From December 1973 until May 2003, Dr. Chau T. Phan was the sole Program Director/Faculty Advisor.
• The 2006 Rider NMUN Team is the 39th Team we have fielded continuously since 1968. We have also been a long-time Institutional Affiliate of the National Collegiate Conference Association, Inc., which is the official organization of the National Model United Nations program.

2. Who is eligible?
• Any matriculated student in any college of the university, regardless of major, with a minimum grade point average of 2.5 may join as a candidate.

3. What are the academic prerequisites?
• Prospective members must have completed a course in Global Politics (POL 215) or Global Issues (POL 315) or an approved course in International Finance or International Economics by December prior to the competition in New York. Transfer students and exchange students should demonstrate proficiency in a substantive course in international politics or economics.

4. What qualities are valued in Rider Model UN candidates? When are members finally chosen?
• Enthusiasm, cooperativeness, punctuality, honor, initiative, self-reliance, and commitment to the success of the team. Model UN is not a place for domineering types. Members will be chosen by the faculty advisor in consultation with team leaders and other second-year members between December and the first week of classes of the Spring semester. No current team member is automatically considered a team member for the following year until after being evaluated by the faculty adviser in consultation with current team leaders. As Model UN is neither a club nor a required class, all decisions about team membership are final within the team, and not appealable to anyone else.

5. When does a new Model UN Team start?
• A new Rider NMUN Team starts immediately after the final meeting of the previous year's Team meeting. Members planning to return in the Fall constitute the core of the new Team. Recruiting for the new Team starts during the final weeks of the Spring semester, and resumes in earnest after the Fall semester starts. Members begin to learn the abbreviated rules of procedure during the Fall semester, when we do light simulation sessions, with returning members coaching new members.

6. What is the usual schedule of Model UN?
• Thw team meets by arrangement twice a month from October until the start of the Spring semester; then meets regularly as an evening class for 3 hours each week during the Spring semester until the week prior to going to New York (always on Tuesday through Saturday before Easter).
• Committee assignments start in December, and most of the preliminary research on committee topics is done during the winter break in January.
• During the Spring semester, prior to the Conference, we have weekly formal simulations, with speakers’ lists and caucusing periods, lasting 2 ½ to 3 hours each. Members take turns to preside over the simulations, so as to be grounded in rules of procedure. The faculty advisor stays in the background to observe, and make recommendations at the end of each session.
• Our training emphasizes mastery of the rules of procedure, being in character in representing one's assigned country, professional conduct, creative diplomacy in caucusing and drafting working papers/resolutions, and Team work.

7. How are credits granted for Model UN?
• Students receive 3 credits for POL 295, Special Project in Political Science, in the Spring semester, and may repeat it a second year. Students must debrief the faculty advisor during the class period after the Team returns from New York, and write a detailed evaluation of the NMUN experience. When that is done, the current year's Team is disbanded, and the next year's Team is immediately formed.

8. What are the rules of conduct at the National Model United Nations Conference in New York?
• For a complete answer, refer to Rules of Conduct.

9. What is the proper attire for the National Model United Nations Conference in New York?
• For a complete answer, refer to Dress Code.

10. What to bring or not to bring to the NMUN Conference?
• For a complete answer, refer to What to Bring?

11. What are the criteria for grading in POL 295?
• For a complete answer, refer to Grading Criteria.

12. How many years can a student get credits for Model UN?
• Since 1974, three credits were granted to participants in the Spring semester under POL 295: Special Project in Political Science: Model U.N. (limited to total of two years or six credits). In very unusual circumstances when there is insufficiently strong leadership for the following year is a second-year student allowed to return for a third and final year. In that case, s/he will register for POL 490, Independent Research and Study in Political Science. Unlike POL 295, POL 490 is under the jurisdiction of the Political Science Faculty and the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Education, and Science. A member enrolled in POL 490 must submit a lengthy research paper at the end of the semester on some aspect the foreign policy of the country which is represented by the Team that year. There has never been anyone who was allowed to earn credits for more than three Model UN years, or a maximun of nine Political Science credits. Consult the current year Academic Bulletin (catalogue) or the chairperson of the Political Science Department for details.

13. Who get(s) to be a Team leader(s)?
• Team leaders are chosen by the current faculty adviser, with the advice from departing team leaders, from among those who indicate that they will return to Rider University for the next full academic year and do their second year of Model UN. Normally it is one leader, or two co-leaders, or as in exceptional situations, as in 2003 and 2004, three co-leaders. Only in exceptional situations (lack of potential new leaders) that a student is allowed to return for a third year, and in that case, only in a leadership position. Potential leaders are chosen for the same qualities, but demonstrated in much greater degree, as new candidates (see No. 4 above). There should be leadership opportunities each year for those who have not done it before.

14. How well supported is the Model UN program by the Faculty and Administration of Rider University?
• Our program is strongly supported by the Administration of Rider University, and by our NMUN alumni who valued highly what we now call "the Rider NMUN experience." We have a fairly big Model UN alumni web site, which features all former 39 Rider NMUN Teams. We have an active network of alumni. Each year, during Homecoming weekend, there is a Rider Model UN Alumni meeting, complete with a UN flag raising ceremony. We also have three Rider Model UN endowed funds to which alumni have contributed. The funds’ earnings help our Team members meet some of their incidental expenses. Rider University pays the hotel bill, affiliation, and delegate fees. Our Team does not traditionally engage in fund raising for itself.