Monday, January 22, 2018

Building Blocs in MUN

One of the keys to a successful MUN experience is developing and managing a bloc, a collection of countries/delegates working together to pass a resolution. There is a balancing act between delegating too much authority/control and coming across as too power hungry. Tonight, we will look at several strategies to successfully manage your bloc.

First, read this backgrounder on blocs from Best Delegate. As you read, write down three strategies they suggest in forming your initial bloc. Best Delegate also has some other strategies concerning providing your bloc an identity early on and defining roles for bloc members.

A healthy and productive bloc can make the resolution writing easier by delegating clauses to different delegates.

Best Delegate has another article that highlights the best ways to lead a bloc, including physical placement during unmoderated caucuses.

Next, read this article on tips on how to keep your bloc together. Again, take note of the suggestions on how to best maintain your bloc.

How do you handle another power delegate when they try to take over your bloc and make the resolution theirs?

Monday, November 6, 2017


This marks the 30th year for MUNUC. Hosted by the University of Chicago and held at the historic Palmer House Hotel in downtown Chicago, MUNUC draws over 2700 students from across the United States and the world and is considered one of the most prestigious MUN conferences.

Liberty North will be representing the delegation of Norway this year and will be bringing 21 students to compete during the four day conference. Some of the best schools from across the midwest and both east and west coast schools will be competing at MUNUC. It is an excellent opportunity to see how we stack up against other programs, many of which have MUN as a class, come from private schools, compete a dozen or more times a year, and have teams of upwards of 100+ members.

Historically, LNMUN has done very well at MUNUC, typically finishing as one of the top ten schools (out of more than 100) and sometimes even among the top three delegations. This achievement does not come easy. Over the next several months, you (and your partner) will need to research and prepare for your topics and committee to best put you in a position to be successful. The topics at MUNUC are complex and multifaceted. These are real international problems with no easily identified solution. Background guides will be long and useful in beginning your research, but that is just the initial stage of your preparation. You must go beyond the background guide to fully understand your topics and begin formulating possible solutions. Successful delegates are the experts in the room, the ones who know more about the topic than even the committee staff.

Tonight's Agenda:

1. Waivers and training modules

  • MUNUC Delegate Training Module: we will complete this together tonight
  • MUNUC Liability and Emergency Forms (return by the end of the week)
  • LPS Waiver (return by the end of the week)

2. Preliminary Chicago Plans
  • Thursday: Train to Chicago/Opening Ceremonies
  • Friday: The Bean/Committee Sessions
  • Saturday: Committee Sessions/Group Dinner--Tre Kronor or Giordano's Deep Dish/Improv?
  • Sunday: Committee/Closing Ceremony/Train to KC
3. Begin Preliminary Research and Preparation
  • Discuss with partner who is responsible for each topic
  • Set up Google news alerts
  • Set up research folder
  • Begin bookmarking sites/printing/reading

Monday, October 23, 2017

Parliamentary Procedure & Resolution Writing

Tonight, we will be discussing parliamentary procedure and how to write resolutions in preparation for our mock session next week.

Position papers are due by Friday. They should be emailed to me with your country's name as the subject line and as one document with both topics. The format is one page, single spaced for each of the two topics. The header should be as follows:

Committee: SOCHUM

We will be following the MUNUC Parliamentary Procedure for our mock session. A few important terms/procedures for you to be aware of:

Dais: This is the committee staff that runs the committee room. It consists of a chair (final decisions rest with this person), moderator (handles the flow of debate), and assistant chairs. For our conference, Mr. Gates will take on the role of chair/moderator with several senior members alternating in as well.

Decorum:A call to order or attention. During formal sessions and speeches, cross talking among delegates should not take place. You will hear this frequently in Chicago, especially in the larger committees. Please respect the delegates speaking.

Speaker's List: A list of countries wishing to speak on the given topic. The moderator will ask what countries would like to be on the list. You should ALWAYS have your country's name on the list. Once you have spoken, simply send a note to the dais to add your name to the list again. At Chicago, the Speaker's List is typically quickly abandoned in favor of moderated caucuses.

Motion: A request by a delegate. The most common motions are:

  • motion to set the agenda-used at the beginning to determine which topic will be addressed first
  • motion to comment-if the speaker does not yield, two comments are typically allowed (this is only from the speaker's list NOT moderated caucuses)
  • motion for a moderated caucus-must state length, speaking time, and purpose (i.e. Motion for a 10 minutes moderated caucus with 1 minutes speaking time to discuss proposed amendments)
  • motion for an unmoderated caucus-must state length and purpose (i.e. Motion for a 15 minute unmoderated caucus for the purpose of discussing working papers.
  • motion to close debate-used at the end to move into voting procedures (Requires 2/3 majority vote and chair may allow 2 speakers opposed to closure of debate)
Yields: A delegate recognized to speak may yield (give up) part of their time either to another delegation, to questions, or simply back to the chair. This is only used during substantive speeches from the speakers' list, not during moderated caucuses.
  • Yield to another delegate-give the remaining time to another delegation to speak (typically another member of your bloc)
  • Yield to questions-Used to explain positions/working papers, etc. The moderator will call on what delegates are allowed to ask questions.
  • Yield to the chair-the time simply elapses and we continue on the speakers' list (no comments allowed)
Points: Points are used to raise questions or draw the moderator/chair's attention to something. Some common points are:
  • Point of inquiry-question about parliamentary procedure
  • Point of personal privilege-used to address a discomfort or problem in the committee (i.e. cannot hear the speaker); this should be rarely used
  • Point of order-used if you believe parliamentary procedure is not being followed (use at your own discretion, but generally frowned upon)
Working papers vs. Resolutions: During the committee sessions, initial ideas will be collected and submitted in the form of working papers. Working papers are typically written in resolution format, but cannot be referred to as resolutions. Multiple working papers are combined to form resolutions. Resolutions are the final goal of the committee. They are the committee's solution to the problems. There is a proscribed format that all resolutions must follow. A typical conference will have multiple "draft resolutions" on the floor at the same time and the goal is to gain enough support through consensus building and merging of resolutions to pass your resolution through.

Resolution Writing! The end goal of any conference is passage of a "comprehensive" resolution (preferably one that you are the main sponsor/author of) that addresses the issues raised in the background guide. For more information on resolution writing, please click on the Resolutions tab above.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Country Profile Speeches & Mock Session Committee/Topic

1. NEST FEST: We need 2-3 volunteers to help at NEST FEST this Wednesday from 6-8pm. We will have a 4-square game for kids to play. It's a ton of fun! Let me know if you can help.

2. Country Profile Speeches: Last week, each of you were assigned a country for our mock session. Tonight, you will need to present a 1 minute speech highlighting your country and why it is such an amazing place. Focus on your public speaking skills--good eye contact, clarity, volume, etc.

3. Mock Session Committee & Topic: For our mock session we will simulate the GA3 Social, Cultural, and Humanitarian (SOCHUM) committee. We will use the background guide from AMUN with the topics of human trafficking and the human right of safe water and sanitation.

Click on the link above and read through the background guide. You may want to print out the guide as well so you can mark it up. You will need to prepare two position papers (one for each topic) before the conference. We'll talk next week about how to write position papers. This background guide is your starting point. Pay particular attention to the "questions to consider" at the end of each briefing.

4. WUMUNS participants: For those attending WUMUNS, your main focus should be on working on your position paper since it is due next Friday! You will need to email it directly to your chair and cc me on it.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Would You Rather Speeches/Country Research

Would You Rather
Model UN requires students to not only present formal speeches, but to be persuasive and informative in their speech. Tonight, we will practice by giving Would You Rather speeches. You will be presented with two choices and provided approximately 5 minutes to prepare a short (1 minute) speech explaining your choice and why.

Country Research
The first step in research for Model UN typically begins with country research. Tonight, we draw for country assignments for our mock session on October 30th. Based on your country assignment, begin researching using the resources on the Country Research tab located above. Next week, you will be responsible for giving a brief (roughly 1 minute) speech on your country explaining why it is the most awesome planet on the country. Next week we will begin topic research for the mock conference as well!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Welcome to the 17-18 LNMUN Year!

Tonight marks our first official meeting of the school year as we set out to make 2017-18 our most successful and fun MUN year ever. Here is an overview of tonight's agenda:

1. Welcome & introductions (5 minute interview, 30second-1 minute introductions)

2. KC Mayor's Dinner--We will have a few spots (typically 4) available to attend this event on Wednesday, October 18th. Please email me if you are interested in attending.

3. Women's Foundation 25th Anniversary Program featuring keynote speaker Samantha Power, former ambassador to the UN on Tuesday, October 3rd.

4. WUMUNS assignments: We should be finding out very shortly our committee assignments. Please  go to the committee page and email me your top five preferences. I want to make the specific assignments ASAP so you can begin research/writing position papers.

5. Mock Session: Mark your calendar for Monday, October 30th. We will have an extended meeting (6:00-9:00pm) to simulate a MUN session. This mock session will be used to help determine our travel team to MUNUC (Chicago).

6. University of Chicago Model UN (MUNUC): We will be taking approximately 18 students to Chicago for this large, competitive conference. It will be held February 1-4, 2018. The traveling team will be determined based on performances at WUMUNS and the Mock Session.

7. Future meeting dates: Plan on Monday evenings 6:30-8:00p in the LMC unless otherwise noted.

8. LNMUN Member Recruitment: encourage underclassmen to join us!

9. Please bookmark this page ( and follow us on Twitter @libertynorthmun