The 2016 Baruch MUN Conference attracted nearly 200 participants from schools across the metropolitan area. The City College of New York sent 14 students to practice multilateral diplomacy on issues related to current refugee crisis. CCNY delegate Tammie Marie David, representing Albania, won the Best Delate award. We decided to interview her right after the conference.
What do you think about today’s event?
I thought it was really fun to get a sense of what the MUN conference is all about in a friendly environment. Even though some NMUN rules differ from Baruch’s, I feel as though it was great to formally practice amongst the CUNY community. Baruch MUN team did a great job organizing the event and we are all very grateful for their hard work and dedication.
What was your most memorable experience at the conference?
My most memorable moment was when my group and another very large group were called upon by the Dais to merge our draft resolutions… We had about 15 minutes to merge our papers, and it was myself and the delegate from Armenia sitting down at a table with the two reps from the other group (India and Belgium) with about 60 people standing around us and in front of us, all shouting reminders at us to include them or requests to “hear what we changed.” With the incredible time constraint and the added stress of having to calm our groups so that we could produce our best work together, I actually ended up having to firmly and a bit aggressively request that everyone hold all further comments unless they were the four people with the laptops in front of them, until we were in final editing stages. At first neither group was happy to work with each other and both wanted to maintain control of the “main paper” by being the working laptop, but we ended up collaborating really well together and producing a quality resolution
What lessons from today would you carry to the national conference?
First, following up is key, keep a list of your signatories and ask them for their emails about ¾ of the way through the writing process so you can confirm their allegiance to your resolution. Keep track of your sponsors, and know exactly what they contributed. Also, be friendly at all times, unless you meet someone who isn’t. Only then you may want to show them you are serious, and will defend your resolution and your teammates. I think it is also important to speak loudly and clearly. The main people who were acknowledged by others and the Dais were those who were dominant in their groups. Finally, bring about 50-100 pieces of paper for the day. Send notes constantly for quick alliances.
How do you feel winning the top award?
I feel honored to win on behalf of CCNY MUN Program, and grateful that I received such high recognition.
How do you win the best delegate?
First, you should enter a model UN arena understanding your strengths, and then use them to make yourself seem outstanding. For example, if you are a social person, make yourself visible in large crowds and take the time to chat with smaller groups when the opportunity arises, even if it’s just offering to grab someone a coffee or complimenting them on an outfit choice! Make sure you MAKE yourself be heard during informal caucuses, and demand the crowd’s attention during formal debate by speaking loudly and clearly.
If you are more of an academically-oriented person, make sure you don’t just research but come with some ideas ready to be formed into resolution operatives. Allow yourself to shine during the formal debate by mentioning previous conventions and resolutions when relevant, and demonstrate clear and concise knowledge of the topic(s). During informal caucuses, find and speak to those in the room that you can see are gathering crowds, and choose one person to work with primarily. Make sure you have a laptop or notebook to begin drafting a resolution, and then you can sponsor/co-lead by spearheading the writing.
Great! But how do you reach for the top award?
Now to win best delegate, you need to be versatile in your strengths. It doesn’t matter if you are better in one than the other, it does good to switch off roles with others in your group on occasion. If you have spent your whole time writing, offer to go find signatories while your partner(s) contribute to the resolution. If you have been leading the group by finding sponsors and signatories, explaining to semi-interested delegates what you are focusing on, etc., request that other delegates (probably best to have a few people at once) do what you’re doing so that you can have a turn at the paper.
Lastly, you want to make sure that you are underestimated and not overestimated. It’s better to start working on what ideas you and a few people have bounced around and allow others to contribute (remaining in a leadership position), than to promise grandeur only to realize that you’ve spent all your time playing political games and don’t have any substance to your resolution. If you find that you’ve started a paper and have something to go with and maybe 2-3 delegates on your side, you can always use formal debate to write notes to delegates speaking with whom your ideas align to invite them to come and speak with you during the next informal caucus.
Thank you for talking to us and congratulation on winning the best delegate award!