My name is Aleksandra Sawa and I am very excited to serve as Media Chair for Europe High School this academic year. Currently I am taking my first steps into life as a university student, majoring in Math at the University of Wroclaw. At the same time, I am also taking my first steps here, working with the Best Delegate team, hoping this is just the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
My MUN journey started two years ago when I attended my high school’s annual conference (in Wroclaw, Poland). Back then I already had some experience debating in the European Youth Parliament, in which I am still active and, truth be told, I did not expect this MUN conference could possibly be any better than EYP. Had I represented any other country and on any other topic, my MUN experience would have probably ended there. However, I represented Syria in WHO. On the topic of Syria’s humanitarian aid plan. In November 2012. Yeah. A breakthrough.
Representing a regime country, working against time as new events in the Battle of Damascus unfolded overnight. A topic I always wanted to deal with as a professional in the future. All of that combined and there it is – a delegate’s dream. Scary and challenging, but a dream. Oh, the rush. The motivation before and the satisfaction after. We all know the feeling, don’t we?
At this point, after a nice and catchy personal story, you would probably expect a long paragraph about the benefits of MUN and a nicely camouflaged list of ‘all the amazing things you can learn in the process’. Let’s skip that part. If you know, you know. If you don’t, you wouldn’t believe me anyway. But the thing is: to ever get to know, one needs a positive first experience. One needs to attend a conference where they are provided (and provide themselves) with the motivation, the rush, the satisfaction. With a great topic, well conducted procedure, and amazing people. I had that chance and, call me a naive believer in equal opportunity, I think everyone should. However hard it may be to control all these factors when you organize or participate in a conference, it is our duty to try. Because it is somebody’s first experience.
I live in a country where the importance of this is especially visible. We have great potential here in Poland and not many people know about it, but the potential is lost right at the time of high school graduation, if not earlier. On a scale of 10-15 conferences annually, only a handful of people make it into University level circuit. We have a lot of one-time delegates or delegates that will always be just delegates. Same happens in many other countries in Central and Eastern Europe. A great number of initiatives are pursued but as enthusiastic as the organizers are, sometimes professionalism is lost in the process. Larger, prestigious conferences, are, on the other hand, often off-limits to first time delegates. This is why MUN training is crucial for my region to reach its potential.
My role in all this is very simple. Best Delegate gave me a chance to put what I know and feel about MUN into writing and share it with you. I will try to do my best – hopefully helping make somebody’s first experience positive enough to stay and have fun and learn. Because that’s what it’s about.
Best of luck!
Media Chair of Europe High School
University of Wrocław
P.S.: Feel free to get in touch with me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any feedback, questions or ideas you would like to share with me!