Written by: Amadine
Visual by: Zoe
Behind the esteem of Model United Nations (MUN), what really happens backstage? Or in our case: off-camera? This year, Isaac, Poorna and Jagat take on the “Directors” Position for MUN LOCALs 2021 — a platform for students “to escape the bureaucracy and stagnancy shrouding many of the political issues that we see today.” Read on to know the inside scoop, from MUN LOCALs’ very own directors.
Isaac and Jagat – Logistics Director(s)
Poorna – Communications Director
- Behind the ‘Director’ role: What do the directors really do?
“The roles of directors are really across the board.” Jagat begins, “while Logistics Directors focus on delegate allocations (…), our Communications Director advertises the conference and creates our website interface to assist delegates and advisors.” Poorna adds that, “The directors are basically responsible for making sure the conference runs smoothly through careful planning and making numerous executive decisions.” She further expounds how “(…) LOCALs is almost completely student-led, it takes a lot of perseverance and organizational skills to ensure that everything that needs to be done gets done.” Regarding logistics, Isaac gives a very specific idea of the sorts of decisions made, “As a logistics director, we [he and Jagat] are in charge of populating committees with countries and assigning country allocations to the schools that are participating in LOCALs.
2. MUN prep more than meets the eye: What does MUN look like behind the scenes? Is it more than meets the eye for participants?
“There is!” Poorna exclaims. “Lots of planning goes on behind the scenes to make sure delegates can just focus on being delegates.” Contrastingly Isaac says, “Behind the scenes, MUN LOCALs isn’t that different from what is seen.” He proceeded to give us further detail on what goes on during prep, “[first] the secretariat meets up and hammers out details regarding committees and the issues debated (…), while also planning the schedule and coordinating with press teams from each school regarding media coverage during LOCALs.” Moreover, “Within the preparation of LOCALs there is also back and forths between the secretariat and the student officers of each committee.” He finishes off with words of encouragement, “we are here to help facilitate each committee and help the chairs who are there to help each delegate have an awesome MUN experience!” Lastly, Jagat says, “Networking, crosschecking, and hours upon hours of work – this is what you can expect behind the scenes.”
3. Broad perspective: what does being a part of this MUN LOCALs team mean to you? Moreover, what has this experience provided you with?
Isaac describes his experience being part of the secretariat of MUN LOCALs as “a learning experience” that “serves as a great opportunity to expand horizons.” He explains that it, “has granted me insight into the nitty gritty details in planning a full on event.” Poorna states that, “In the past, I’ve only ever been a delegate, so it’s been really cool to look at the conference from a totally new perspective.” Moreover, “it’s really nice to know that there are people who are also passionate about MUN (and are not just in it for the awards) and are doing everything they can to make sure MUN LOCALs is a success!” Jagat says, “It’s been a crazy fun journey, navigating my way through delegation assignments, chair assignments, and to finally be able to be a part of the organizing committee – it’s pretty cool to say the least.” He continues on, explaining how “It’s provided me with a newfound sense of appreciation for the organizers of a conference, and has offered me new logistical and collaborative skills that I can take with me moving forward.”
4. Blast from the past: What were your first LOCALs like? What experiences from that initial conference do you hope to share with this year’s new delegates?
For Isaac, “My first LOCALs was in the good old days when COVID-19 didn’t exist. I was an ICJ Judge as a freshman representing ISM going to LOCALs hosted at BSM. It was quite an interesting experience for me, as it was really my first ever MUN conference, and the fact that I was an ICJ Judge which I didn’t even know was a delegation that existed in MUN, paired with me being in the foreign environment of BSM did not help at all. I was super nervous, but thank goodness the president of the committee and my fellow delegates were super welcoming and I had a lot of fun in that conference. Even though MUN LOCALs is online this year, I hope that all the delegates will be able to get to know other delegates through discord, zoom or other platforms and have fun doing MUN and debating with resolutions. You might be new to MUN and this might be the first conference for you just like me 3 years ago, but it’s experiences such as these that really builds a foundation and helps you in the future whether in MUN, or anywhere else. Delegates, I wish you all a wonderful conference and pleasant debating!”
For Poorna, “My first LOCALs conference was, at first, a bit daunting. I was a freshman, so it was really intimidating to be around more experienced high school delegates (even though I had been doing MUN for 4 years prior to this). Yet, it was so heartwarming to find how all delegates, no matter what grade, were collaborating with each other during the conference. I hope that new delegates are also able to join the MUN community and use their shared interest and love of the club to make many friends and build their confidence during this conference. That’s the true spirit of MUN!”
For Jagat, “My first LOCALs was an absolute blast. I represented Iran in the 4th General Assembly, and I remember making so many friends and memorable bonds that helped me guide through the nerves. My chairs were great, my peers were awesome – it was overall an experience that I will never forget.”
Now that we’ve caught a glimpse of the off-camera component of MUN, audiences and delegates alike can grasp MUN with new perspectives and better insight. As our esteemed secretary generals once wrote, although “MUN may seem to just be a hobby. (…) in reality, MUN is far more than that.”
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