Concordia Model United Nations (ConMUN) is currently asking students for help: they would like to become a fee levy group.
In order to apply, they need a total of 1,000 signatures by Friday, Sept. 5. As of now, they have over 600 signatures. If they get enough signatures, the matter will be added to the ballot at the next Concordia Student Union’s (CSU) elections this Winter.
They will be asking for the approval of the collection of a fee of 7¢ per credit to fund the operations of the Model United Nations Education and Leadership Centre.
This would allow them to have an operating budget of about $50,000. Last year, ConMUN recieved a $5,000 allocated budget from the CSU, while two years ago it was $3,200.
“ConMUN plans on using a substantial amount of the funds that would be allocated to our organization not only to compete at the national and international levels to UN simulations but to also arrange and host multiple events in which all of Concordia’s undergraduate and graduate students are welcome and encouraged to attend,” ConMun president Nathanaël Dagane said.
During the year, ConMun members travel to many different conferences, sometimes around the world. At these conferences, members must simulate being UN ambassadors dealing with important current issues. They must work as a team in order to solve global issues, or in order to mobilize international cooperation.
They must negotiate with countries, make speeches, prepare draft solutions, and resolve conflicts — all while abiding to the Model UN rules of procedure.
“Our goals as a club are to not only improve our members abilities but to achieve high levels of success at the conferences we attend. Half of what we do is focused on these national and international conferences, where we apply our well trained skills in competitions against the top schools from across North America and many others from around the globe.”
This year, ConMUN plans on attending conferences in Montreal, Rome, Ottawa, Seoul, and Chicago, to name a few.
ConMun has, in the past, been able to afford registration, accommodations and sometimes transportation for members, but students must still pay a lot from their own pockets in order to attend conferences.
“The budget of ConMUN is highly limited but we truly believe that financial limitations should not stop talented and motivated youth from pursuing their dreams,” Dagane said. “Our goal is to send as many students as possible to the different conferences and ensure that they learn from their experience in several Model United Nations.”
According to Dagane, more funds will allow ConMUN to send talented students to conferences, regardless of their financial status. More talent will hopefully lead to more awards for Concordia.
ConMun dates back to 1998, and also existed before Loyola College and Sir George Williams University merged in 1974. The club once had one of the CSU’s largest operational budgets, which was at times mismanaged. To read an open letter written in 2002 from the CSU’s then VP Finance to ConMun’s then president, click here.
“Though it was true in the past that ConMUN did receive one of the biggest budget allocated by the CSU to clubs and had it mismanaged along the road, we should not pay for the errors of the past, considering that the turnover for student executives is usually quite high,” Dagane said.
“We believe that obtaining the status of a fee-levy group; autonomous from the administrations of Concordia University, the CSU, the GSA, and all academic bodies and associations, would help us complete successfully our activities for the year 2014-2015 and greatly improved Concordia’s university and student life off and on campus!” Dagane said.
To find out more about ConMUN and their proposed fee levy or to meet the executives in person, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. They are also on Facebook and Twitter.