Model UN Update

Michael Gross Staff Writer This past weekend, students from all over the world gathered at the Palmer House Hotel for the 25th annual Model United Nations University of Chicago (MUNUC). The conference began Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m., and by 6:00 p.m., the hotel lobby was filled with student-delegates in their suits and dresses, excited and nervous for the weekend ahead. Each of the Latin students was paired up with a fellow classmate, as we were assigned to represent Romania in our separate committees. Committee sizes ranged from 60-200 people, and the topics were anything from the unification of Germany to the problem of Humanitarian Aid in conflict zones. Students attending this conference came from all different backgrounds and had different motivations – while some students came for the sole purpose of adding something impressive to their college resume, most came dedicated to the cause and brought with them a great deal of experience in Model UN. Thursday night commenced with the head of the conference giving a speech to inspire the young minds that stood before him. It was well delivered, but it was hard for him to compete with the distraction of the delegate’s smart phones. He ended his speech with a quote, saying, “While some of you don’t appreciate this at the moment, this conference – and Model UN as a whole – will change your life. It changed mine.” This promulgation caused an eruption of applause from the student-delegates, as it helped them realize the importance of the Model UN experience. Eventually, everyone breaks into committees. The committees are divided into six fractions: General Assemblies, Economic and Social Committees, Specialized Agencies, Regional Committees, Continuous Crisis Committees, and Press Corps. The students choose which committee interests them most, as they spend the weeks preceding the conferencing researching their particular country, and what their committee can do to solve the problems of each topic. The first night of the conference consisted of several hours of debate, and creating relationships amongst fellow delegates, that helped to eventually pass a resolution. Exhausted, the delegates headed up to their rooms, hoping to regenerate for the action-packed days ahead.  Friday was merely a continuation of the debates and discussion that had occurred the night before, and by the end of the night several working papers had been formed and approved. The resolution process begins with working papers, which basically outline the ideas for the resolution, and lead to a series of question and answer sessions. These working papers are later combined and condensed into a few draft resolutions. The draft resolutions also go through a series of question and answer sessions until two or maybe three final resolutions are formed and later voted on by the delegates – representing their country. By the end of Saturday night, most of the committees had formed their final resolutions and were ready to vote the next day. After a long day of conferences, the delegates were more than ready for the delegate dance – where the students danced and socialized until midnight, as they retired to their hotel rooms for the last time, worn out from the long weekend, and primed to pass a resolution the next day. Following a brief committee session Sunday morning, the weekend concluded with the closing ceremonies, as the best delegates received prestigious awards – making the rest of the participants aware of their outstanding performance. The hotel lobby was crowded again on Sunday afternoon, as the students filed into their cars, or flew home contemplating their astounding experience and remembering what the head of the conference had said just a few days earlier. Many students will be back at MUNUC next year, hoping to continue the great tradition of this well-known conference, as others will move on to conferences throughout the country, such as Model Unite Nations University of Michigan and Model United Nations Harvard University.]]>