Note: This article is Part 2 of a five-part featured series on NAIMUN XLIX. Learn more about the series here.
Located in the nation’s capital, NAIMUN has many opportunities to provide delegates an unparalleled out-of-committee experience. For this reason, there are two people on the NAIMUN Secretariat who commit themselves entirely to planning that experience. The Director and Deputy Director of Programming are responsible for ensuring that delegates take away not only new friends and a better understanding of global issues from the conference, but also a sense of what an impact they can have on the world around them.
Director of Programming Randy Crooks and Deputy Director Jennifer Zink have spent the last few months organizing a host of different events: tours at major D.C. venues, speakers who have specific knowledge on NAIMUN’s committee topics, trips for delegations to the embassy that delegates represent in committee, and Hilltop Madness and the Delegate Dance.
At NAIMUN, delegates have the opportunity not only to participate in debate, but also to learn directly from the representatives who the delegates are modeling. By far one of the hardest jobs that Randy and Jennifer had to do was to get in contact with the dozens of embassies in Washington, in an attempt to organize visits. While it might seem rather simple to set up these events, many embassies answer the phone in foreign languages, or simply have difficulty understanding what exactly Model United Nations is. NAIMUN is, as always, excited to offer to its delegates such an enriching opportunity, and hopes that delegates who have the opportunity to use their visit as a boost to their committee preparedness.
NAIMUN offers two of the most fun nights on the High School Circuit: Hilltop Madness, and the NAIMUN delegate dance. These events also allow delegates to get to know one another outside of committee, and contribute to a sense of community among the delegates that will last throughout their MUN career. Hilltop Madness, which comprises performances by many of the most talented groups on campus as well as NAIMUN staffers, is a particularly memorable event for both staff and delegates. Additionally, the delegate dance especially allows for delegations to enjoy a nice time together and with their newfound friends.
Director of Philanthropy Audrey Atencio was given the task of searching out an official “Conference Charity” that fits with the particular mood and feeling of that year’s NAIMUN. This year, NAIMUN selected charity:water as its charity for the conference. NAIMUN has set an ambitious fundraising goal of $25,000 for charity:water, which will allow us to fund a clean water supply for an entire village in Ethiopia. This fall, NAIMUN hosted a staff service project, in which nearly many staffers participated. NAIMUN hopes that staffers and delegates alike can help NAIMUN reach its goal.
Another aspect of NAIMUN philanthropy is the Social Justice Symposium. This new event (only in its second year) offers delegates the chance to see how they can apply their desire to do good in the world. This year the Social Justice Symposium will feature NGOs and non-profits that focus particularly on youth engagement. The Social Justice Symposium is still growing and changing, but hopefully delegates will be able to take advantage of this unique opportunity. For those delegates interested in pursuing internships in the NGO and non-profit world, the Symposium also offers a chance to speak to people who have made careers in the field.
NAIMUN is so much more than a “just another Model United Nations Conference,” and one of the ways NAIMUN stands apart is through its commitment to the out of committee experience. While delegates may spend most of their days debating serious international issues, NAIMUN’s out of committee experience allows delegates to bridge the gap between simulation and practice, and between work and fun.