Avindu’s IT team, alongside Tharaka’s Conference Protocol Team and Surf Edge, have been busy at work to do what all conferences of the past have failed at; making a functional online system to manage proceedings. There are two aspects to the system:
- a mobile app to submit & review moderated caucuses
- an online point system
I’ll try to explain how these two function and what you as delegates should keep in mind going into conference on Saturday.
As a delegate I used to write at least 15 mod causes before conference starts and strategically submit them throughout the first day to maximize the chances of getting one of my mod causes selected. And as a chair it was a nightmare going through the hundreds of pieces of papers with mod causes that piled up on my table.
So it’s no wonder that on hearing about NYMUN App from Avindu I grew a bit envious.
To start using the app simply scan the QR code on your conference name tag. And then you can see all the mod caucuses approved for discussion by the chairs and submit your own ones.
And it’s a very simple process
Type your mod caucus topic, specify the total time for its discussion and the number of speeches desired.
Your topics will appear on the chairperson’s computer interface on a first come first serve basis, allowing for instantaneous approval or dismissal. And you will see the topics scheduled for debate. No more having to ask the chair to repeat the topic or waiting for the admin to write it on the board.
Tharaka, the protocol czar, has advised his chairs to approve mod caucuses on a criteria of being ‘disruptive’ to committee proceeding. I cannot divulge what that term means, but figure it out and you might become mod caucus czar in committee.
The bottom line of this app is:
- for you environmentalists, NYMUN minimizes its paper usage.
- for you spotlight seeking delegates, your mod caucus is not getting lost in a huge pile of paper under the chair’s desk.
Pointy the Point System
It’s not yet named but even if everything else at NYMUN fails, I’ll write a nice obituary for the conference based solely on its functional point system. And for the first time in the history of MUN (at least in Sri Lanka) it will NOT be based on an Excel sheet and will be based online.
The chairs will allocate points based on four major areas:
- Debating – accounting for 40% of all attainable points
- FPS – accounting for 20% of all attainable points
- Knowledge of protocol – 10% of all attainable points
- Lobbying – 30% of all attainable points
The points you get for the above four categories are weighted and added up to a total that is out of a 500 point ceiling. Both chairs will enter points and the system gives the average as your final score. I’ve listened to Avindu and Tharaka going through the maths of it and it makes sense. Don’t worry your points are not going to be manipulated by a computer gimmick like some elections.
Ohhhh. I almost forgot. The chairs will account for only 65% of your final score that determines your award – Best Delegate, Higher Commendation or Honorary Mention. The remaining 35% comes from well your fellow delegates in committee. They all have to vote, individually, for their best delegate of choice. So be nice to them and watch a replay of the high school popularity contest unfold. On the flip side, this means no a******s get awards anymore.
Important features and impacts of the point system:
- Chairs can’t go back and change the allocated points at will – they have a 2 minute window to choose to undo an entry
- Chairs can’t simply add points at will – all entries are recorded on a database with a time stamp – anything odd and the Protocol Czar will have questions!
- The two chairs won’t have to end up fighting over who to give awards – they will enter points individually and the system averages their allocations and gives an average for each delegate
- The point system logs will be released to the public at the end of conference
- Don’t get your protocol wrong – while no negative points are allowed, not getting that 10% might push you out of award contention.
- You need to actually talk to new people during unmoderated caucus to get those lobbying points (30 damn percent, gah). Stop trying to make resolutions with just your usual friends – sorry that’s me talking to my younger self.
- Submit that foreign policy statement as soon as possible – ASAP – just get something sent in.
So the need to use an App means you need to use a smartphone in committee. Yes this is not a high school MUN so bring all your gear – you can research in committee. But if you plan on researching on the spot for everything – good luck getting a chance to speak. By the time you’ve gotten a decent idea of the moderated caucus topic, chances are that the time set aside for it has elapsed. What this will help you with is to fact check that delegate who blurts out Article/Resolution numbers like he/she has a memory card stuck up the nervous cord or actually find out what resolution you need to refer to in your speech.
Bottom line – you lucky ……… I am not using the right word. Go figure. Good luck with the preparations.
And if you are wondering what the points criteria exactly looks at, here’s what the Protocol Czar has approved:
This parameter would focus on all the content for conference. This would include speeches, research and how well you put your point/solution across. Chairs will mark you on debating skills encompassing of your public speaking and how well you mold your points and how it contributes to committee
This parameter will focus on how well you have structured your foreign policy statement and how well you adhere to your country’s stance on the topic at hand. Chairs will very closely monitor your speeches and check for consistency throughout conference with regards to your stance. Marks will be allocated accordingly depending on the quality of the FPS
This parameter will consist of coalition building skills and how well delegates can interact with others in a diplomatic and constructive way. Points will be awarded based on how well delegates carry themselves during instances of Lobbying.
Knowledge of Protocol:
This parameter will focus how well delegates know their protocol and how well they apply it in formal session. Raising the right motion will be imperative and in order to gain points, this knowledge will have to be present throughout both days of conference.