Model United Nations

Model United Nations at Cal Poly continues to exemplify the “Learn by Doing” philosophy. At two conferences, students from POLS 285: Model United Nations and POLS 385: Advanced Model United Nations were able to enhance and improve their skills in negotiation, resolution and directive writing, public speaking, and more.  

In February, 15 students from the class had the opportunity to attend the UC Berkeley Model United Nations conference in San Francisco. The students were on numerous committees at the conference, discussing issues from Irish integration into the European Union to transnational drugs and crime to the Emu Wars. While in San Francisco, the students were able to explore local and international culture and go to Indian and Vietnamese restaurants. At the conference, Cal Poly took home one award, an honorable mention earned by political science freshman Patrick Henry.  

Later during the first week of Spring Quarter, nine students were able to attend the National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference in New York City. NMUN is the oldest running college level Model United Nations conference in history. Starting off with a walking tour of New York City by beloved Cal Poly political science professor Dr. Craig Arceneaux, the conference gave students the opportunity to better understand how the United Nations functions. Representing El Salvador, Cal Poly’s delegation debated global issues surrounding criminal justice, development, the environment, atomic energy, and more. Students later had the opportunity to visit the actual United Nations building in New York, where they attended the closing ceremony of the conference. 

Inspired by the learning, personal growth, and excitement derived from the Berkeley and New York conferences, the students of POLS 285 are even in the process of creating a dedicated Model United Nations club at Cal Poly. This club will attend and host more conferences, hold training sessions for members, and make Model United Nations at Cal Poly more accessible to non-POLS majors. Anyone interested in learning more can email

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