A good advisor can make or break a team, and that’s why it’s so important to find (and stick with) a good one from the beginning. Hopefully we can give you some information on how to find one that fits your vision for the team.
For a little background, our collegiate team’s advisor takes a fairly hands-off approach to our club. We really only talk to him in certain situations, like updating him on the logistics for upcoming conferences, the financial status of the club, if we win awards at conference (which is the best conversation to have), and when the new executive board of the club are elected. This has worked well for us, since it’s easier to have an advisor trust the club leadership with decisions and literally act as an advisor in certain cases. It enables our club to run pretty independently and make decisions that leadership thinks would best help the club.
As a first step, look for a teacher, professor, or dean who has a background in something related to Model UN. For us, that was someone with international relations experience. But for you, it could be a Social Studies or Civics teacher, a Political Science professor, or a dean of a school within your college or university. Reach out to them with a short email detailing what you’re planning on doing (e.g. starting a club, finding a new advisor) and ask if they’d be willing to meet quickly to discuss your plan for the club and what their role as advisor would entail. Here are some key points to bring up:
- What your club does/what MUN is (particularly important if your potential advisor has literally no idea what it is, much like many people);
- What conferences you go to/are planning on going to;
- Why you need their help;
- Club finances;
- What you see their role being and why they’re a good match for your club.
Hopefully this goes well and they agree to be your advisor. Depending on your school, there might be some forms you have to fill out in order to make it official, so make sure you complete those if that’s the case. If there aren’t forms, then congrats! You now have an advisor. In the following months, you may want to invite them to a club meeting and maybe include them in a meeting of your club’s leadership so they know how you all function as a team. Be sure to let them know what your plans are for conferences and who the head delegates/responsible members will be (if you don’t travel with a chaperone). There isn’t really much more we can give you advice on, since many clubs function differently depending on the school. Just be sure to keep them in the loop on what your club is doing and share your accomplishments! Some of our awards are displayed in our school’s Diplomacy building and it’s always exciting to see how far we’ve come.