YMUN Featured Series: Refining and Innovating the Committee Experience

by Marta on January 17, 2014

In the third and final instalment of our YMUN featured series, Justin Schuster, the Director General of Committees for YMUN XL, talks about how YMUN is making strides in improving the committee experience for delegates. From staffers who truly know what they’re doing to a new type of committee, YMUN is employing a number of strategies to ensure that delegates attend a conference that is both educational and fun. 

In just one week, over 1,500 delegates will be descending upon Yale’s campus from five continents, dozens of states and scores of high schools worldwide. As the grounds of these hallowed halls ready for their inundation of debate – from talks of sub-Saharan poverty alleviation to the fate of the Euro, communist conspiracies to constitutional quandaries – the nearly 200 member staff of the 40th annual Yale Model United Nations conference are finalizing their preparations.

After four days of rigorous debate, coalition building and resolution writing, a few exceptional delegates will depart with awards. But at its very essence, YMUN stands for far more than gavels and certificates. YMUN is proud to deliver not just a debate conference but a holistic educational experience.

Hand-selected from a pool of talented Yalies, the committee directors for YMUN’s 25 committees are experts in their respective topics and are prepared to share their field research and background knowledge with delegates. Directors who will be leading the World Health Organization committee will be coming straight from WHO headquarters in Geneva. The leader of the World Economic Forum will be coming just following her work at Davos. After field research took him to the Spratley Islands, one of YMUN’s directors will be leading the International Maritime Organization.

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Staffers preparing for the conference at YMUN Prep Day.

It is YMUN’s philosophy that directors should be more than just moderators; they should be educators who are set to empower and inspire the delegates in their respective committees. As such, delegates will have the chance to learn not just through their committee preparations but also directly from some of the leading student experts in their respective fields.

Beyond expert committee directors, YMUN will be welcoming world-renowned professionals to the vast majority of its committees. From the CEO of Doctors without Borders to representatives from the United Nations and from experts on Israeli foreign policy to United States Ambassadors, these leaders in their respective fields will be sharing not only their professional and academic experience but also their stories about careers in international politics. This is an exciting innovation that is offered by few if any college conferences at such a level.

In its fortieth iteration, YMUN is in a state of refining and innovating its conference.

Refining – YMUN is improving its technological capabilities from a new iOS app to in-committee crisis videos.  YMUN is also proud to field its second batch of award winners from the conference’s second annual essay contest on the theme of “think globally, act locally.”

Innovation – YMUN is inaugurating a brand new type of committee – Regional Bodies, which span the entire globe (Arab League, European Union, Organization of American States) and the annals of regional history (Nuremberg Trials, Commission on the Status of Kashmir 1947 and Antebellum Congress).

YMUN is much more than just your run-of-the-mill Model United Nations conference, it is an educational experience and our attempt introduce over 1,500 future leaders of the world to the vast world of international politics.

For God, for country and for Yale,

– The Secretariat of Yale Model United Nations XL

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