The last year has posed many challenges for the world and the Model UN circuit. Despite the limitations we face in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, it is our mission to provide the best Model UN experience possible for our delegates. Here is how we plan to do that.
After much deliberation over what platform to host the conference over, we have decided that Discord offers the most ease of access and features necessary for the smooth running of our conference. The entire conference will be organized within one coordinated discord server. Committees will each have individual discord channels open only to the delegates of said committees. Additionally, there will be various conference-wide channels to encourage delegate interactions between committees throughout the conference.
The benefits of discord are, primarily, the ease of logistics for delegates and staff alike when transitioning to and from moderated and unmoderated caucuses, as well as for communication between delegates during debate. Through discord, delegates will be able to organize their own groups during unmoderated caucuses, eliminating the common problem of Zoom breakout rooms.
Additionally, using discord allows for staff and delegates to be on the same platform and specifically, for staff to transition between "in room" and "out of room" in a single click as opposed to changing calls entirely as would be necessary over Zoom. The implication of this, for our delegates, is that the entire conference will take place from within one window. Everything from debate, private video discussions with other delegates, to crisis notes will be organized in one window. This means that delegates will spend less time navigating their computer and more time enjoying debate!
We will be releasing a full discord guide for first time users, and a committee structure outline for delegates to prepare for the conference.
It is our firm belief that virtual awards would not represent the accomplishments of our best delegates adequately. With the many compromises, we have had to make in hosting our conference this year, failing to award our delegates is not one of them.
Consequently, delegates will be mailed gavels, best delegate, outstanding delegate, and honorable mention awards after the conference. We will also be issuing delegation awards to participating schools and mailing those to our attendees.
Delegate socials are an important part of any Model UN conference. Not only because they are fun, but because they serve as a reminder that delegates are participating in but one committee across an entire conference. It gives delegates the chance to meet people and make friends from outside their committee and contributes a great deal to the community experience of attending a Model UN conference.
Whilst a traditional delegate social is not possible with the current state of the Coronavirus pandemic, our team was unwilling to simply neglect to have something in its place. With Model UN transitioning online across the country, it is easier than ever for each conference to simply feel like one committee to the participating delegates. This feeling moves in direct opposition to what Model UN should be, and is why we have organized a conference-wide virtual event which our delegates will have the opportunity to participate in.
The exact details of our event will be released at the opening ceremonies!