Pre-Conference Prep

  • Pre-Conference Prep

    Hi! I hope you’re all excited, because you’re about to experience the most exciting part of Model UN: the college conferences! This is your chance to solve world crises with other dedicated high school students from around the country and around the globe! MUN really is the perfect combination of intellectual stimulation and entertainment, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box, enjoy your time away from home in a new place and have fun with it! Remember, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to ask any other experienced MUNer.

    The following information provided is a guide to the college conferences. If this is your first time attending one, please read it thoroughly and use the “breakdowns” as a checklist to help you pack. Remember, M-U-N IS F-U-N!

    Packing (Clothes):
    • The number of each item to pack varies based on how long the conference is ? For every day we will be away (BUSUN = 3, CMUNCE and WAMUNC = 4), make sure you have a business outfit as well as a casual outfit (plus pajamas according to your own preference)
    • For committee, you must wear Western business attire
      • Boys: Suit, button-down dress shirt, dress socks, TIE, DRESS SHOES
      • Optional: Vest, cravat, extra fanciness
      • Girls (lots of options): Suit, blazer, pencil skirt, blouse, dress pants, dress, TIGHTS, FLAT SHOES (if you want to wear heels, you must walk in flats and change into heels when you get to committee)
    • Before and after committee (we sometimes get mornings and nights off), you will probably want to change into something more comfortable than your business attire ? Make sure you have comfy clothing to wear, including shoes you are comfortable walking in and weather-appropriate clothing
    • For BUSUN and CMUNCE, when the weather is pretty cold, make sure you have some sort of outerwear in order to keep warm (scarves/gloves/hats aren’t bad ideas, either) ? The best thing to have is businesslike outerwear, like a peacoat
    • At every conference we attend, there is a “delegate dance” Saturday night and, as a rule, we always attend for the first half hour ? once all opinions are made about the dance, we vote on whether to stay or leave (and if there are enough advisors, we can split up) ? Bearing this in mind, you may want to bring a special outfit for the dance
      • Keep in mind, many delegates at the dance will still be wearing their business attire from committee and that you will probably have to carry around your outfit for the whole day before the dance, for we don’t usually return to the hotel throughout the course of the day


      • Business Attire
      • Casual Clothing
      • Shoes
      • Socks/Tights
      • Undergarments
      • Outerwear (For cold weather)
      • Optional Attire for Dance

    Packing (Items):
    • You MUST have a cell phone with you at all times during the conference so that Ms. Graef, the chaperones, and your classmates can get in touch with you when necessary ? Remember a charger as well!
    • Although main transportation and lodging have already been paid for, you will need money for food, desired souvenirs, (and subway or metro rides for CMUNCE and WAMUNC only - you can also simply bring a prepaid Metrocard, although that will probably only apply to CMUNCE since most people don’t keep DC Metro Cards in their homes).
      • Assume approximately $50 a day for food
      • You can bring a debit or credit card. HOWEVER, make sure you still also have some cash
      • Ms. Graef will tell you how much money you will need for necessary subway rides before each conference
      • Souvenir money is completely up to you! The bookstore is a popular destination, and most of their prices are online, so you should be able to get a pretty good estimate!
    • Hopefully, you all have good hygiene, so make sure to pack all of the necessary toiletries. Nevertheless, if you forget something, don’t panic. Every hotel we stay at is near a convenience store (Duane Reade, CVS, etc.) that will probably supply whatever you need and more (like food for late night parties, which is always a popular purchase)

      • Cellphone
      • Cellphone Charger
      • Money (Cash and if wanted, Debit or Credit)(Prospective amount will be given for every conference)
      • Toiletries
      • Metrocard (Only for CMUNCE)

    Optional Items:

      • Camera
      • Laptop
      • Forms of Entertainment (cards, board games, etc.)
      • Homework

    Packing (Research Materials):
    • Everyone has their own sort of conference organizational system, . Some use binders, folders, notebooks, even legal pads! Whatever your preference, make sure you have SOMETHING with you, because there’s going to be some things you’re definitely going to want to keep with you during committee
    • A copy of the UN Charter, your country or character report, your position papers, “how to write a resolution” sheet, and a basic parliamentary procedure sheet (except the position papers and country report, this can all be found on Ms. Graef’s website, and a day before the conference, she will usually let you print these during class)
    • If your committee has a special ruling document, like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for the Human Rights Council or the Constitution for the Senate, make sure you have this as well. If you’re not sure as to whether or not there is a special document you need, ask Ms. Graef or an older student.
    • As Ms. Graef has told you, you are allowed to pass notes in committee. Because of this, some students have designed special notepaper for their country or position. It will make you look cool if you have custom notepaper, so it’s definitely something to consider (and often, we will be assigned the same country in several committees, so you can all use the same notepaper)! If you don’t want special notepaper, you still need something to pass notes on. Post-its are popular, but you can also simply rip up looseleaf throughout committee
    • Don’t forget the basics: paper and writing utensils!

      • Writing Utensils
      • Paper
      • Folder or Binder or Legal Pad (For the organization of research)
      • UN Charter
      • Special Documents (Depending on committee)
      • Notepaper (For passing notes)

    General Scheduling:
    • There will be 5 or 6 committee sessions at each conference, which means you’ll get though debating one or two topics, despite how many they actually give you.
    • Every committee session is 2.5 - 3 hours. Generally, if the session is longer than 3 hours, your chair will give you a short break in the middle of the committee session.
    • The last committee session usually doesn’t have tons of debating (especially for the last hour), so try to have working papers ready to be presented before the last committee session, so that something can get passed!
    • When we have time off, we will discuss as a class how we will spend that time. Although some sort of intellectual option is looked highly upon, we are open to anything! Some examples from the past:
      • Museums
      • Monuments
      • Ice Skating
      • Shopping
      • Sightseeing
    • Meals:
      • Breakfast: Depending on the conference, we will either eat breakfast near our hotel or near the university at which the conference is held. If we eat near the hotel, you must go with your ENTIRE ROOM. If we go near the university, you can eat with whoever you want, as long as you are never alone!
      • Lunch: For lunch, you will be allowed to eat with whoever you want, as long as you are never alone (once again). However, if we have committee before lunch, you must meet with Ms. Graef and the rest of the delegation before we split up.
      • Dinner: Generally, we eat dinner as a group at a reserved restaurant (although we will usually be asked for input).
        • In certain committees, the chair or the delegates may organize a committee dinner. Please inform Ms. Graef of this if you decide to attend.
    • When we get back to the hotel after committee, Ms. Graef will give us a curfew time. Until that time, you can be in whoever’s room you chose as long as it is a Herricks hotel room. Always stay in the hotel!

    General Committee Tips:
    • Speak early, speak often. The sooner you talk once and get accustomed to speaking in front of the committee, the more confident and assertive you will be.
    • Never go to the bathroom during unmoderated caucuses. Unmoderated caucuses are when you really collaborate with the other delegates and create resolutions.
    • Don’t be afraid to talk to other people in your committee- chances are they’re just as afraid of you as you are of them.
    • Ask your chairs questions if you’re confused about something! Don’t be obnoxious, but don’t be shy either.
    • Try to scope people out EARLY. If you find people you want to work with, send them a note asking to work together during an unmoderated caucus.
    • Try to be one step ahead of the other delegates- if you want to make a point, try to predict what other arguments will be and make sure you can refute those arguments, also. This will definitely help when you write resolutions.
    • Don’t be afraid to suggest compromising solutions when the debate because very narrow (like there is only right and wrong). If you can get both sides of an argument to agree to a compromise, you’re ideas will definitely be voted in.
    • Remember: this is supposed to be fun! So don’t be afraid of anything or anyone, and make sure you’re satisfied with the outcome of your debates. They’re a reflection on you!

    Last Minute Reminders:
    • BE ON TIME
      • Make sure you’re on time when meeting Ms. Graef and the class before leaving for the conference - it makes a GREAT first impression!
      • Throughout the conference, everyone will be in different buildings. Therefore, Ms. Graef will assign a meeting place for everyone after every session: BE THERE ON TIME.
      • If you are going to be late to meet everyone at the assigned meeting place, please inform Ms. Graef.
    • You are never allowed to go anywhere alone
      • When we split up for lunch, you have to be with at least one other person, and if someone changes his or her mind, you must be with them until they join a different group and make sure you are not left alone as well. When in doubt, call an older student! We’re nice, I promise!
      • When we make drugstore runs when we get back to the hotel at night, there will be a teacher in the drugstore with you. Inform him or her when you are done and returning to the hotel and, once again, make sure you go with someone and leave no one behind (especially your roommates)
      • At the dance, always be with someone. One of the upperclassmen will tell a funny story about the first dance that Dr. Bierworth attended where he gives the delegates a piece of advice: boys, stay with the girls. While the scenario described is hilarious, it’s not bad advice. There are some weird people there (and you don’t want to be left alone with them), so whether you’re with a boy or a girl, just be sure to be with someone!

    Created by Kerianne DiBattista and Diane Li (Exec. Board 2012-2013)