Photo: The Michigan State University UNA campus chapter attended Members’ Day at the UN last month.
By Kara Spada, GenUN Fellow
GenUN is always looking for creative, hard working leaders to represent UNA on college campuses across the United States. We offer a range of resources to help students develop their leadership skills and provide a network of likeminded individuals to help raise young voices in support of international coalition building.
Here are eight reasons why being a GenUN Chapter leader is simply the best!
1. You will gain a team in D.C. and on campus. Once you decide to start a campus chapter at your school, the GenUN Fellows and UNA staff are here to help you begin to build your team. We want to help you succeed! You will receive monthly updates and are always invited to schedule a phone call with a Fellow or staff member from the national office. In addition, you are part of a network of campus leaders made up of students from across the United States. Our student network helps to foster connections between our leaders so that they are able to share programming ideas and support each other. Currently our chapter leader network is made up of over 100 students representing about 35 chapters. View tools and resources for starting your own chapter here.
2. You will find your niche on campus. UNA-USA provides its leaders with resources to start a student organization with a focus that they care about. We encourage social and educational events such as involvement with the Model UN team, weekly dialogue on international or domestic issues, and social events to support a great cause. Our chapter leaders participate in various events such as traveling to Model UN competitions, raising money for domestic and international issues, volunteer projects, and various awareness campaigns. Together with your members, you will bond over your interests in international affairs and your desire to make the world a better place.
3. Our Partnerships are awesome! Joining the UNA-USA provides you access to a bunch of other incredible organizations working in D.C. and abroad. We encourage our chapter leaders to choose to advocate for whichever of our target areas they feel most passionately about, and we connect our leaders with organizations doing similar work. UNA-USA partners with Nothing But Nets, Shot@Life, GirlUp, the National Education Association, UNFCU, Alpha Kappa Alpha, and many more.
Looking for a job after college? The Annual Meeting is the perfect opportunity to learn about all of the internationally focused organizations in DC!
4. Attending Members’ Day at the UN. Our leaders have the annual opportunity to join hundreds of other supporters at the UN Headquarters to participate in a day of dynamic and informative discussion on some of the most pressing issues facing our world. At Members’ Day at the UN, our members will get exclusive access to the UN, where they will hear from experts on topics like refugees and sustainable development, network with community leaders, academic leaders and students, and meet representatives from think tanks and like-minded organizations.
5. Gaining National Recognition. Our leaders publish blog posts and receive national recognition on the GenUN website. This is a great opportunity to improve your writing skills and build your portfolio! We post updates about what our chapters and leaders are doing in the field and encourage others to get involved.
6. The Color Blue. GenUN offers our leaders tons of swag, from logos to pins, pens, lanyards and stickers. We encourage our leaders to represent the United Nations and UNA on their campus and to help us spread our message. We also provide swag for a number of events throughout the semester.
7. Develop Your Leadership Skills. Are you a planner? Type A? Do you love schedules and events? Or maybe you’re just looking to try out being a leader for the first time? GenUN will provide you with the opportunity to put all of these skills to work. As a campus leader, you will be in charge of weekly meetings and monthly events. The GenUN Fellows will help you every step of the way and make sure you have all the resources you need to build an incredible organization!
8. Make an Impact. UNA-USA has a 70 year history of helping the UN help the world. From providing vaccines to children in developing countries to supporting peace-building processes in conflict situations and creating the Sustainable Development Goals, the United Nations is the only global forum for solving shared challenges. As an advocate with UNA-USA, you’re helping pave the way for a brighter future for all.
Interested in starting a chapter? Get in touch with Anna Mahalak, UNA-USA Youth Engagement Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.