By Stephanie Classen
Ryerson will invite students from all backgrounds to participate in the university’s new Model United Nations club, but it hasn’t attracted interest from students who live in one of North America’s most diverse cities.
“Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find people who were actually interested and passionate about something like this,” says Yee-Guan Wong, president of the Ryerson Model UN, which is in its first year of operation on campus.
Though Wong, a fourth-year journalism student, got around 25 people to join the group, he has had little response following the initial recruitment. The group, which has yet to be officially approved by RyeSAC, is still looking for executive members.
Posters scattered around campus announcing, “John Kerry named 44th President of the United States,” and “North American Flu Threatens Financial Markets Around the World,” were used to generate interest.
Wong also spoke to several classes about his ideas. “I know the UN’s reputation has taken a beating but their philosophy is sound. Also, it’s not something that too many people understand and appreciate,” Wong says.
Since there has never been a club like this on campus, Wong has been looking to the York University chapter for guidance. “I’m trying to get some quality top level help,” he says of York. “This is kind of all new, so hopefully we’ll be able to hit the ground running.”
This guidance is more than just helpful to the development of the club because it also allows for networking opportunities with other Model UN clubs, as many hold conferences throughout the year.
Now that all of the preliminary steps have been taken, the only thing left to worry about is a solid base of members. Wong hopes that more interested students will come forward.