Model UN’s First Conference of the Year


MUNCH (Model United Nations at Chapel Hill) is a conference where students from across the US can debate and write resolutions to real and fictional issues. Although virtual this year, hundreds of students still took part in the different committees of the conference. (Photo courtesy of Savannah Sinor).

Leesville’s very own Model United Nations participated in their first conference of the year on Friday, February 19, 2021.

Friday, February 19

Before MUNCH officially began, they had four training sessions on Zoom for anyone interested in another review.

From 2:30-3:00 pm, there was “Parli Pro Training” and “Excelling GAs and GAPs.”

Parli pro is short for parliamentary procedure, and it is the procedure for the conference and describes how the delegates should talk. GAs are General Assemblies, and GAPs are General Assembly Plus committees. These are some types of committees. This session was for reviewing the correct procedure for them.

From 3:00-3:30 pm, there were “Crisis Committee Training” and “MUN Skills after High School” sessions.

The Crisis training covered the same content as the GAs and GAPs session, but how it relates to Crisis. The final session is a panel of people talking about how MUN helps you out later in life.

Many of the MUN officers, including myself, suggested the club go to these events, especially those who were nervous or new to the club. Beckett London, who joined Model UN this year, listened to our advice and went.

“I attended all of the training sessions that were available, they really helped me brush up on my parliamentary procedure and really helped me to prepare for the weekend,” said London, junior.

Even those who have been to a conference benefited from these meetings.

“I think they were helpful considering I haven’t been to a conference in over a year,” said Ziah Ascalon, junior.

Following the sessions, delegates had a break until 5:30, when the opening ceremony began.  

This ceremony included a keynote speaker, Ambassador John Hamilton, and several other MUN speakers.

“The opening ceremony was good, the students at UNC put a lot of hard work into MUNCH this year, and we could really tell,” said London.

After the hour-long ceremony concluded, everyone went to their first committee meeting.

This year, that meant going to the committee page and following the link to your virtual conference.

These meetings are what MUNCH is truly about. The whole club revolves around preparing for different conferences, such as this one.

“In the days & weeks prior to MUNCH, I researched my assigned country of Vietnam and prepared a ‘position paper,’ a detailed outline of my country’s positions on the issues discussed in our committee,” said London.

Everyone writes a position paper; they act as a quick notes version of your research and position in your committee.  

What exactly you write about or research depends on your delegation. It varies from London’s topic of “the role of government in anti-discrimination,” to Ascalon’s focus on the “Somalia Drought.”

Students called it a night after the end of the first round of debate and resolution writing.

Saturday, February 20

The second day of the conference kicked off at 10:00 am, with the second and third committee sessions happening in quick succession.

Now, delegates have allied themselves with other delegations and are nearing a solution to their issue.

By the end of committee session three, delegates are ready for a break and want to do something else. Luckily, they had an hour and a half to eat and relax.

During this break, students also had the option to attend “MUNCH Fest.”

Attendees could go to one of three panels about college and after college life. Each one lasted for an hour and was like a Q and A. The panelists were past and present UNC students that were in Model United Nations.

These Zoom meetings were an excellent opportunity for MUN members to see what they could do later on in life.

“I attended one of them, it wasn’t really that interesting in my opinion but still a good experience nonetheless,” said London.

After “MUNCH Fest” and the break, delegates went to their fourth — and for some, last — committee session.

This meeting is where everything starts to wrap up, and delegates finally find a solution to their topic.

Once the final committee of the day is over, students got a two-hour break until the evening programming began.

Last year, evening programming meant the delegate dance, but, like everything else, COVID-19 changed that.

This year, MUNCH organizers designed a creative alternative to the dance, a Zoom meeting with three break-out rooms: the Game Room, Bonfire, and a movie screening. In the Game Room, delegates played multiple rounds of Quiplash 3, a fill-in-the-blank style game where the person with the funniest answers wins. The bonfire was a break-out room where everyone could talk and joke around as they would have in a normal year. The final room had a MUN-themed episode of the popular sitcom Community playing.

“It seemed like everyone was having a good time,” said Ascalon.

Despite not being in-person, this night was full of fun and just as entertaining as the old delegate dances.

“I went to the game room as well as the ‘bonfire’. I had a lot of fun bonding with my fellow delegates and having a great time all around,” said London.

Sunday, February 21

The last day of MUNCH is almost always fun.

This year students had the option of attending the first-ever bilingual conference offered by UNC.

Everyone else participated in their final committee session. The last meeting is a tad different from the others. Delegates have dubbed it “FunMUN.” During this session, everyone can let loose and do whatever crazy thing they can think of. From debating Taylor Swift albums to dethroning a king.  

Some committees will also have a snap cup. Delegates put different MUN-themed jokes and memes into this cup.

After wrapping up their last meeting, everyone went to the closing ceremony.

This ceremony includes thank you speeches, jokes, and awards. Two Leesville students got virtual certificates for their work: Vasco Aspillaga Laguna for his excellent position paper and Kal Behailu for her outstanding work in the press corps.

In the words of Beckett London, “MUNCH was great!”


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