Possible Chairing Problems by Ayşe İnci DAL
Three weeks ago I participated in an MUN conference as a first-time chairperson. I can say that I had read all of the chairing guides on the net, yet after the conference, I realized that I didn’t read anything about the possible crises that chairperson should solve in the committee. I hope that after reading this guide you will be more ready than ever to be a multi-sided and able chairperson.
1) Everyone is a first timer and no one knows the procedure;
You came to your committee and took your place. The first thing you should do is to ask delegates whether they know the rules of procedure or not. Most probably the first-timers will raise their hands and state the that they are not fully aware of the procedure. If you believe in yourself to be a proper chairperson, you must know the procedure well. As a chairperson, you should be able to teach basic MUN terms and rules to a first timer easily. Stop staring at your delegates and start from the difference between “Present” and “Present and Voting”. Teaching the procedure will take a maximum of 50 minutes. I strongly advise you be kind as much as you can to first-timers during the conference. It is their first conference. Please remember that if they don’t like the conference, they will end their MUN life.
2) Keep in mind that there might be technical problems;
Imagine that it is your first conference and there is no way to run the MUN software. What would you do? Such a thing, unfortunately, had happened to me. The software wasn’t working. My co-chair turned off and on the computer (Turkish way to fix electronic devices) and nothing changed, so we informed the IT team. Time was passing and delegates were waiting for us to deliver their opening speeches. Then I remembered this quote ”Show must go on” from Queen and we wrote down the individual and total times on a paper manually just like in the ancient MUNs. (If you experience this situation, you don’t have to write everything manually as I did, just visit this website https://chairmun.com/)
3) The tension between delegates;
Hopefully, my committee was friendly enough not to have any tension but in previous MUNs I attended as a delegate, I still remember that a delegate left the committee because of an offensive gossip. Briefly, do not read the offensive gossips.
4) Someone may leave the committee and not come back;
Being chair of the committee doesn’t mean you are only responsible for directing committee. Also, you are responsible for every single delegate’s security. When someone wants to go outside, you should take his/her badge. I didn’t understand why my chairs were doing this until my delegate went to the toilet and didn’t come back for 20 minutes then I sent my admin to find him. It is important to follow your delegates when they leave the committee for whatever reason.
5) Delegates can be reluctant to deliver a speech;
”Are there any delegates wishing to take the floor? (Silence for 15 seconds) I am asking again are there any delegates wishing to take the floor? (Nothing changed). Seen none so I will choose randomly. (Everyone is looking other way trying to look busy taking notes. Finally, the most nervous one is chosen. Delegate of Norway you have been recognized you can take the floor.”
This can be okay for one time or two times but if you are doing this more than two times I’m sorry but your delegates will be exhausted. A fun session is a must for your committee. If you haven’t enough time for the fun session just read the gossips. Believe me, after the gossips delegates will speak longer and more frequently.
6)No enough time for Resolution Paper;
Every MUNer knows that writing resolution paper is the first aim of a committee. If a committee can’t pass a resolution paper, it will clearly fail. However, you should know that if the committee fails, delegates can take their certificates but not the chairs according to HMUN procedure. Please keep in mind that writing resolution paper isn’t easy work to leave it to the last session. Warn the delegates for writing the resolution (before the last session). It may be a good idea to have a block session.
7) You did something wrong about the procedure;
Remember the very beginning of this article. You should teach your delegates rules of procedures. And I did so! But then they used Point of Order against me and they were right. I had done a mistake. (I felt bad and good at the same time). I didn’t panic and I just apologized for the mistake. Then the chair had been corrected. I know that when you are a delegate you think that chairs have to be (not must or should) perfect. They can’t make mistakes but we are human beings as everyone else. Just use these 2 magical sentences: “Our board apologizes for this mistake and Chair has been corrected”. It is that easy.
Was I a perfect chair?
Sure I wasn’t. Organization team rescheduled the sessions but I forgot so I suspended the meeting 15 minutes earlier. I recognized we needed a block session and we had 3 hours 20 minutes block session nobody didn’t even understand it was a block session. Last 20 minutes they felt hungry and they were asking each other it is just the first session how can we be that hungry, then I said we had 3 hours 20 minutes block session. I didn’t eat lunch for solving this software problem.
Well, does being a chair worth all of these annoying problems?
Yes yes yes 1.000.000 times yes. Just even reading the gossip box worths to all these issues. Everyone focuses on you and the authority makes you feel like you are the king or queen for three days (I can’t even imagine the Secretary-General.) There is only one side effect: Post MUN syndrome will be worse than ever. Every MUNer should experience this fantastic thing at least one time. I am grateful for this Marvelous experience as the Chairperson of MARVEL.
The Writer of MUNTurkey.com