Are You a Gavel Hunter or Helper?

by Sarah Collins on October 4, 2012

We all know those delegates: the ones that interrupt others, herd delegates like cattle, and can even seem a bit dictatorial during their speeches. Some of us refer to these delegates as gavel mongers, others as gavel hunters. Regardless, they have been executing their strategies across the nation –albeit most of them highly successful in their trade.

But is this really what Model UN is all about? Model United Nations was created to reflect the workings and issues of the real United Nations, where there is no “winner” in any situation. If an actual UN delegate spoke over people and made passive-aggressive jabs at others, the delegate would reflect very poorly on his nation and could potentially slacken ties between the nation’s allies.

So what if you have been accused as a gavel hunter but want to become more diplomatic? It’s not too late to change your ways. Instead of hunting your way to a gavel, think of helping others instead. You are clearly very knowledgable and skillful regarding all that is Model UN, so help others indulge themselves in the fun. Not only will delegates like you and want to work with you more, but you will also get a nod from your chairs — your leadership will be evident.

If everyone began thinking more like a real delegate and less like a competitor, Model UN would look less like a fight to the death and more like a place to solve world problems in peace– which is exactly what the UN, and ┬áModel UN, was established to do.

  • Ashley Inman

    I’m definitely a fan of the term “gavel-chaser”. Great Article, Sarah!

    • Sarah Collins

      Thank you very much! I hadn’t heard of that one before. :]

  • Enrique

    Having served as a delegate at the BERMUN conference in Berlin last november, I can say that the THIMUN tradition of not explicitly rewarding delegate performance with awards made their committees incredibly enjoyable to serve on. When delegates had problems with resolutions, the default course of action was to submit an amendment that would solve this problem. Delegates on the whole were far more selfless and dedicated to actually solving the problem while representing their country’s interests rather than coming out with personal glory. A far more accurate representation of the UN, that US conferences should consider emulating.

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