4.2 Surviving and Thriving at a Model United Nations Conference

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Back to Unit 4: The Conference.

The time is here to finally put your time and effort to good use, meet fellow college students and debate the issues you’ve been studying for the entire semester. Since participating in a Model UN conference can be stressful, here are a few guidelines and tips to make sure that you have a safe and healthy conference.

  • Make sure you sleep! Conference has long hours and you will be working for most of them. Please do not skip out on sleep to work — it is better that you are well-rested and get a full night’s rest.
  • Eat! Make sure that you eat three nutritional meals a day. You will need the energy to re-charge. This is also a good time to meet with other delegates in your committee. Breakfast is a particularly important meal, it will help you concentrate during morning sessions. Carry a snack like a granola bar for if you get hungry during the day.
  • Drink lots of water!
  • Feel free to take a break if you need to, but be sure to communicate with your partner if you need to leave the committee room.
  • If you are not feeling well, please do not hesitate to let the faculty advisor or a head delegate know. We do not expect you to attend session if you are sick, but we do expect you to communicate with us.
  • Many students like to turn Model UN conferences into a chance to party. There is nothing inherently wrong with gathering with other people and having a good time, but please be responsible. Partying hard or staying up late will reduce your body’s capacity to fight off illness and stress.
  • Avoid alcohol, especially if you are under 21. Do not use recreational drugs.
  • Avoid bringing valuable items that you will not need. We are not responsible for something that is lost or stolen, neither is the conference.
  • If you are struggling with stress, tension or anxiety, please feel free to talk with the Faculty Advisor to seek ways to improve your situation.
  • Deal with conflict productively and professionally. It is normal for students to have some personal conflict with others in their delegation. Acknowledge this and try to resolve it — ask for help from head delegates or the faculty advisor if you need assistance with mediation of disputes.
  • Support each other — look out for your fellow student delegates. Listen to them, make sure they are eating and sleeping. Speak to the head delegates or faculty advisor if you are worried about someone.

Safety and Security

You have the right to a safe and fulfilling learning environment and to be treated with respect, dignity and decorum by everyone (whether from Pace or elsewhere) at a Model UN conference and should also treat others likewise.

If you have a medical condition that requires you to take breaks and relax during the day, please let your delegation partner and the Faculty Advisor know and make sure to get sufficient rest. If there is a medical or security emergency at the conference, contact 911 first, and then speak to conference staff as well as your faculty advisor and head delegates.

Keep an eye on your belongings, keep valuables with you or locked in the hotel safe. Pace University is not responsible for lost or stolen belongings. Watch your placard, binder and nametag in particular. People can steal them and they cost money to replace.

If at any time you feel that your safety is being threatened, in the form of sexual harassment or bullying please inform the faculty advisor or a head delegate. Pace University also has a zero-tolerance policy for any of our students sexually harassing or bullying another student.

Do not for any reason leave the conference unless speaking to a head delegate or the faculty advisor. After committee session is over you are welcome to leave the hotel, but at your own risk.

For making preparations for conference, read the Unit 4.1 article here.

To read the Head Delegates BuzzFeed list on surviving and thriving at conference, click here. Also read their BuzzFeed list #DontBeThatDelegate on how to avoid being a disruptive presence in the conference.

Katie James for Pace University, 2013. Version 3.0 BETA. For information, permissions or corrections, contact Dr. Matthew Bolton, mbolton@pace.edu