This recap has been provided by Gigi Chow
The Pacific Ridge MUN partnered with High Tech High North County to put on the first annual North Country Regional Conference (NCRC for short) on Saturday, December 10th, on the High Tech campus. The conference saw more than 200 attending delegates from thirteen different schools.
Preparation for this conference began for the club members at the end of last year, when they decided to merge with the HTH club, instead of hosting a conference on their own. The PRS MUN club was incredibly polarized for the few weeks it took to make the decision. Some argued that merging would destroy the values that the PRS MUN conference holds dear, such as small, harkness-stye committees. They thought it would restrict the flexibility and innovative ideas. The other side firmly believed that merging would bring more participating schools and increase the credibility of the conference. The MUN advisers and Secretary General ultimately decided to work with High Tech High and the work began!
Students quickly paired up and choose committees that they wanted to chair. The committees ranged from the larger, more typical World Health Organization and General Assembly, to the smaller and more specific Balkans Diplomacy and Counter Terrorism. Each committee chair researched and wrote two background guides on topics that fell under their jurisdiction. Those who did not elect to chair stepped up to be on the crisis team.
The MUN club decided early on that every committee shjould have some form of a crisis. “Crises make everything more interesting,” Izzy Hogenkamp ‘12, head of general crisis team commented, “It engages the delegates and forces them to think on their feet. It handicaps those who did not come prepared and allows for the ones who truly know the topic to rise and lead their committee.”
Hogenkamp ran the crisis team alongside Abby Perelman ‘12. They planned crises for every committee and every topic in each committee. Their goal was to make it as exciting as possible, and everyone at the conference agreed it was a success. In the Historic Security Council, the crisis team abducted the delegate from Russia and returned her with a bomb and a walkie talkie strapped to her chest. The “terrorist”, Hunter McComas ‘13, spoke erratically through the other end, threatening to blow up the delegate if his terms weren’t met. In the special committee on Balkans Diplomacy, a terrorist group from Serbia burst in wearing fatigues and holding fake guns. Screaming and “firing” their weapons, they dragged the delegate from Kosovo out of the room and “executed” him on a live video feed.
“I never expected so much action at a Model UN conference!” One delegate commented. Another said, “I want to be kidnapped next!”
The conference ran smoothly that day, even though many schools dropped out at the last minute. Some committees were very small (at six delegates), but luckily there were extra PRS MUN students who volunteered to take a place. These students were rotated between all the committees. They would be introduced as a “late” delegates, introduce extreme opinions and conflicts, and when the committee was fired up, the crisis team would come in and kidnap the PRS student, only to send him or her to another committee.
This always made the committees more exciting, and it allowed crisis team to step it up. For instance, dragging a delegate by their feet might require a liability waver or spark a lawsuit. But if Will Glockner ‘15 is the kidnapped delegate, you can add a couple guns into the equation while forcibly removing him from committee.
At the end of the long day, the committee chairs presented awards to the outstanding delegates in their committee during the closing ceremonies and all the thank you’s were made. The two secretary generals, Trevor Nesbitt ‘12 from PRS and Aria Pip ‘12 form HTH were given flowers and showered with compliments for all the hours they poured into the event.
After all the delegates left, the girls removed their high heels, the guys loosened their ties, and everyone cleaned up the school. At 6pm, they said their “good job’s” and “goodbye’s” and went home to a well deserved night sleep.