Chapter Spotlight: Bellevue College

The UNA Bellevue College chapter is the perfect example of students off to a great start. Despite only becoming an official UNA chapter during the winter quarter of last year, there is a lot to say about this group of high-achieving students advocating for the United Nations and social justice in Washington state. This chapter emerged from the school’s Model UN club, and hosted several events and campaigns amid the pandemic. UNA Bellevue even went on to win the UNA-USA +1 Campaign, a nationwide recruitment campaign.

The success that UNA Bellevue has found can be attributed to the dedication of its small but mighty team leading the way. Daniela Hernandez, the chapter’s treasurer, says that everyone in the group is extremely dedicated and loves what they do. Their determination helped them recruit even more members to join their chapter. When it comes to their win in the +1 Campaign, which required them to recruit the largest number of new members out of all UNA-USA’s campus chapters, this success had a deeper meaning—it meant finally having enough members to register as an official student organization at their school.

Their membership growth and change-making have only continued to grow, despite the pandemic and virtual circumstances. A strong leadership team is always important for creating a successful group. Co-presidents Hannah Stoddard and Phoebe Skok lead weekly meetings for their leadership team, as well as host regular events for members. Hannah says that it has been very important for them to develop creative and dynamic events to engage members, but the important thing with this is that they are held at consistent times.

This has been easier to do now that they are separate from the MUN club at their school, according to Phoebe, as they are now able to set their own priorities and lead with their passions, which is central to the group. Phoebe says that it doesn’t matter if people think you’re weird or over-excited about something because the people you want joining the group will be others who are similarly interested in the topics and work being done. Bellevue UNA values being a part of the larger network of UNA-USA chapters around the country full of people interested in the same things as they are. It has inspired the leadership team to keep working in times of struggle, put smiles on their faces to be able to talk with like-minded people and friends regularly, and empowered them to make a positive impact on the world. This chapter is a valuable addition to the UNA-USA network and has proven that its passion lies behind all that it does to make the world a better place through advocacy for global collaboration through the United Nations.