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Model UN. The activity one simply can not stop, the activity connected to many urban legends regarding student life, the reason for many love stories and endless complains. With the prominent lack of international standards and monitoring authorities on conducting simulations of any kind, things can easily go wild. You hardly think so?
There used to be a time when ModelUNing and simulations overall were a good asset to one's resume. However, this era is long gone and to my pessimist point of view is not coming back soon. If you have the courage, keep on reading otherwise treat yourself to something sweet and best of luck on your next adventure within the muniverse :)
Still here uh? You curious reader... Anyways let's get our hands full and our minds triggered. In theory, one is slightly familiar with the history and a certain ROP style of MUN. Tradition informs us that we prefer the words of wisdom our older peers tell us than conducting any research ourselves. This is where a part of the problem originates, in my opinion. The inadequacy of information regardless it occurring unwillingly or deliberately, determines to a great extent the final quality of our simulation time and personality. Placing our trust in people and not crosschecking, looking around for innovation and creatively questioning deprives us the potential of rejuvenating the activity. It is that way, false practices where established, from not being challenged and from our subconscious fear to challenge older MUNers.
I repeat, communicating ideas is fantastic but blindly implementing methods that are no longer functional does take a lot out the educational fun MUN is supposed to bring to the table. In an attempt to broaden the theoretical problems connected to the absence of critical thought creating a repetitive and boring recycle of topics, committees and Rules of Procedure, I would add the part of moral decay. It is a strong set of words, but there is a point so hear me out before you get furious.
The image of several people dressed up in western business attire with their figures being flattered and their overall appearance becoming extremely pleasant to look at, there would undeniably be some level of attraction among them. It is understandable and as long as it is kept under certain limits then it is definitely welcomed. Mucho alpha males, desperate people, intensely sexually charged people and the ones particularly focused on turning the conference to a dating app should gradually see the door of exit. It is not funny anymore to have the gossip box outdoing the conference's reputation and again, flirting is nice as long as it is not insulting or creating atrocious stories. If a WBA gives you extra confidence, then upgrade your real-life dress style do not try to make the most out of a weekend. The muniverse is a rather small place, one person's behaviour can have an impact. In my very romantic mind, a MUNer should be the one capable of discussing complexed matters anywhere and remain calm under any circumstances and not a fancy traveller who has yet to selfie inside another prestigious venue!
Continuing to explore the realm of moral decay, I would have to add the horrendous commercialization of the activity especially over the past two-three years. Just five years ago, working as a trainer was a very sweet thing to do but today, the number of trainers outnumbers the one of MUNs in many parts of the world. Seriously, even for online safety reasons, why would you pay extravagant amounts of money to strangers just to teach you how to MUN?!? There are many online portals with credentials and free or with a reasonable charge (ie. online counselling/distance MUN monitoring etc that do take some time to perform) to help you do so! Of course, there are cases where a conference expansion has been made with caution and under consideration, but in other stories, bitter conclusions have been drawn. If I am to explain more on this I would have to list names and it would be awkard, so I will limit myself to this: one's only enemy is one's self and no matter what everyone else is doing, a steady pace of growth will help you to eventually win the market.
Slightly connected to this is the tremendous and rapidly growing list of available conferences. It is always better to renew an existing one than to set up something new. In that way, you are weakening the collective, increasing the competition and risking the survival of otherwise brilliant ideas. I would comment on remuneration as well, but I do believe that if all the above are sufficiently dealt with, budgetary control will naturally follow.
To conclude, next time you will cringe about anything take some time to think your part into this and see whether you want to do something about it!
(c) compliments to UN Information Centre, Nairobi, Kenya for the picture.