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SDGMUN at Churchill

For the 2020-2021 school year, Sir Winston Churchill High School has had a club partnership with MUN Impact. As part of our club partnership, Churchill is hosting a one-day, online Model UN conference where the committees focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGMUN conference will take place on Saturday, March 6th on Zoom. The background guides have been posted on the SDGMUN website, and registration is now open. We’d love to see you at the conference!

SWCHSMUN 2020 Closing Ceremonies

We’d like to sincerely apologize to all delegates and faculty advisors for the technical difficulties surrounding our closing ceremonies. Once we reached the maximum of 100 on the Zoom call, we quickly adapted and reorganized ourselves into 5 different closing ceremonies to accommodate the large number of delegates that we had at this year’s conference.

Here is a recording of the Closing Ceremonies:

 

I would like to personally thank all of the delegates and faculty advisors for attending SWCHSMUN this year. I would like to thank all of the Staff of SWCHSMUN as well, without your tireless work our conference wouldn’t be the same.

I’d like to thank the following Secretariat members: 

  • USGs for Conference Services: Derek Atabayev, Cindy Lei, Abbie Seto, Siya Patel, Lysiane Kouakou, Khushi Vora, Arsalan Qureshi
  • USGs for Policy: Riley Moorman, Henry Yang, and Anusha Karkhanis
  • USG for IT: Andrew Wei
  • USGs for Administration: Akshat Jawne and Ankita Chaturvedi
  • Chargée d’Affaires: Asha Nenshi Nathoo and Chargé d’Affaires: Benjamin Ng
  • Chief of Operations: Alazne Qaisar
  • Chief of Staff: Nithya Gopalakrishnan

I’d like to thank my fellow Model UN coaches at Churchill Mr. David MacGregor, and Ms. Phui. It has been a pleasure serving as the Secretary General for SWCHSMUN for the last decade. We’ll see you next year!

-Kevin Gilchrist (Sir Winston Churchill High School) 

 

Opening Ceremonies

The Opening Ceremonies are happening in a matter of minutes. Delegates should go to their committee rooms via the Zoom links sent to them by their Dais. For Model UN coaches and faculty advisors-you can simply join a committee room to be in for the opening ceremonies. MUN coaches have the list of Zoom links on the PDF that was sent out.

Zoom Tips

As our delegates know, SWCHSMUN 2020 will be completely online due to the current global pandemic. This means that our conference this year will fully take place on Zoom. Opening ceremonies, committee sessions, moderated caucuses, unmoderated caucuses, and closing ceremonies will all be on this platform. While that may be great news to delegates who are familiar with Zoom, we understand that for many students participating, Zoom is a very new application to use. That is why we have compiled some info and tips on how to efficiently navigate Zoom. Please keep in mind that your chairs will go over many of these functions in more detail when the committee starts. Also be aware that all these tips are under the assumption that you are using Zoom on a laptop, which is what I recommend you do.

Testing your equipment ahead of time

We strongly suggest that delegates test their microphone, speakers, and camera ahead of time to ensure that they are working properly. You can check your technology by opening Zoom and clicking into the settings tab. Here, you can toggle to either “Video” or “Audio”, which allows you to test if your camera, microphone, and speakers are properly functioning. 

Muting/Unmuting, Starting/Stopping Video

Other than when speaking, we require all delegates to keep themselves muted in order to eliminate any background noise. You can do this by clicking into the bottom left-hand corner of the zoom screen, where there is a microphone icon. Immediately to the left of the icon is a camera button, which allows you to turn on or off your camera (referred to as “Video” by Zoom). 

Chat

In place of notes this year, we have the public and private chat. In order to access the chat, click the textbox located at the centre of the bottom of your screen. It should be labelled “Chat”. Any messages you send here will be public and accessible to all delegates and staff in the call. In order to send someone a private note, click into chat, and click the dropdown menu to switch from “Everyone” to the person you want to private message. Private messages are useful when you want to communicate with other delegates to establish diplomatic relationships, or messaging the chairs for any issues or concerns.

Renaming Yourself

Your chair will likely ask you to rename yourself to your country name. You can do this by clicking the three dots next to your video, and click “Rename”. 

Raising your hand

A big part of our conference this year relies on the Raise Hand function on zoom. In place of raising placards to indicate that you would like to make a speech or motion, we ask you to digitally raise your hand. You can do this by clicking on the “Participants” icon, which is at the bottom next to the chat button. Once here, you will see the button to raise your hand. Click it once to raise your hand, and again in order to lower it. Please remember to lower your hand after you are picked, or the chairs have moved on. 

Switching Layouts

You will have the option to switch the layout of how Zoom participants appear on your screen. You can do this by going to the top left-hand corner of your screen, where you can switch between “Speaker View” and “Gallery View”. Speaker View only shows the person who is talking at the moment, while Gallery View displays all delegates in the call. You can try both and decide which one you prefer.

Viewing Screenshared Material

During most committee sessions, the chairs will be screen sharing. When someone is screen sharing, you will have the option to view the screen share side-by-side. We strongly encourage delegates to turn on side-by-side mode to view the chairs who are screen sharing. Side-by-side allows one side of the screen to display what is being screen shared, and the other side to continue displaying the regular Zoom interface. You can switch to side-by-side mode, if you aren’t automatically launched into side-by-side, by clicking the “View Options” dropdown menu on the green bar. The green bar is the one that says you are viewing someone’s screen. By toggling to side-by-side mode, you will be able to see as many different video feeds as possible. 

Still have questions? Visit the zoom troubleshooting site (https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/sections/200305593-Troubleshooting) to see if it is addressed there. Alternatively, you can also message me by emailing andrew05wei22@gmail.com.

We can’t wait to meet everyone at 2:45 P.M. (MDT)!

Andrew Wei
Under-Secretary-General of Information Services 

Less Than 24 Hours!

We’re so close! The 10th annual Sir Winston Churchill Model United Nations conference will be taking place tomorrow! Our entire team has worked so hard over the past few months to make SWCHSMUN 2020 an amazing experience, and we cannot wait to for the commencement of our conference. Since April, our staff and secretariat have been hard at work writing background guides, designing graphics, familiarizing ourselves with online MUN platforms, training, and experimenting in preparation. The conference is so close! We can hardly wait.

Hopefully, you are just as excited as we are for SWCHSMUN this year. Just to make sure everyone is as prepared as they can be, here are a couple of things you want to make sure to do before tomorrow. 

  1. Finalize your research

Ideally, your research should be completed (or almost completed) by now. Procrastination gets to all of us, but spending the night before doing 100% of your research is not a very good idea. What I mean by finalizing your research, is to just give yourself a reminder of what you want to address in committee. This can mean re-reading the background guide, going over your notes again, or reading up on some additional articles. What this does not mean is pulling an all-nighter cramming as much information as possible.

  1. Make sure your technology works

Since SWCHSMUN 2020 will be fully virtual, it is so crucial to have your technology cooperate with you. We will be posting a more detailed information guide on how to work Zoom, so here is just a condensed tip. Make sure to test if your mic, speakers, and camera work by opening zoom and clicking into settings. Here, you can navigate to “Video” and “Audio” tabs, where you will be able to test if your microphone, speakers, and camera are properly functioning. If they are: Great! You’re all set! If they aren’t: at least you found this out ahead of time. Do some googling and fix whatever the issue may be before our conference tomorrow. The Zoom website is a great troubleshooting resource.

  1. Fill out every form

Your Model UN coach should have provided you with some google forms that you need to fill out before our conference tomorrow. The first is the delegate registration form, you NEED to fill this out by today in order for us to email you the zoom link. Secondly, your coach should have also shared with you a code of conduct form. This also must be filled out for our conference. 

  1. Consult the resources on our website

The most important resource on our website that you should definitely visit is the schedule. Note that all times are in MDT (UTC – 6). Aside from the schedule, you can also find the Delegate Preparation Guide, our Rules of Procedure, sample clauses, and resolution template. 

  1. Reach out if you have any questions

If you have any questions regarding our conference, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. You can find the contact information for your committee dais by toggling under the “Committees” tab on our website and clicking on your committee. On that page, you will be able to find the email address for your chairs. You can also contact our Secretary-General Mr. Gilchrist via email (krgilchrist@cbe.ab.ca

We can’t wait to meet you virtually!

Boosting Your Confidence: A little confidence can go a long way

Model United Nations can be intimidating, especially if you’re a newer delegate. Even if you are experienced, nerves and anxiousness can creep up on any of us. The trick is turning that nervous energy into something that you can utilize during SWCHSMUN. Being nervous is totally fine, it is much better to have some nervous energy than no energy at all. But how does one transfer all that nervousness into fuel? In my opinion: it’s all about confidence. Being willing to make that speech, to put yourself out there, to speak up during unmod, or to send a risky crisis note. The presence of confidence is what can push delegates to make the most of their experience. Here are some tips that may help you gain some extra bit of confidence in your committee sessions.

  1. Do your research

This may sound obvious, but the best way to build up confidence is to know what you are talking about. The more well-versed you are on the topics being discussed in committee, the better grasp of things you will have. The background guides are available on our website (make sure you have gotten the password to the background guides from your Model UN coach), but don’t feel the need to stop your research there! Do additional research! Look into your country! All of our background guides are completed with helpful links, so those are oftentimes a good place to start your additional research. Being able to reference statistics and past UN resolutions are both great ways to gain confidence while making speeches. 

  1. Get everything set up early

Now that our conference is entirely virtual, it may be tempting to get your workspace organized a minute before the opening ceremony. However, getting settled into your desk ahead of time, with all your research around you and all the additional tabs you’ll need already open is awesome! That allows you to stay ahead and on top of things right from the get-go. You never want to be frantically looking for a charging cord, or searching through your history for that article you wanted, just minutes before the first committee session. Get everything organized ahead of time.

  1. Jot down notes during moderated caucuses 

During moderated caucuses, so much can be happening so quickly that it’s easy to lose track of things. The more you lose track of things, the easier it is to succumb to panic. One helpful thing that helps me stay confident during moderated caucuses is to jot down notes. These can be notes on what other delegates said, which delegates I am interested in working with, and points I want to make during my speeches. While writing out a whole speech may be excessive, jotting down some key points never hurt. 

  1. Make that first speech 

The first speech is always the hardest. That is something that I have found from my experience as both delegate and staff. The first speech is always the most difficult to get out there. Once the first speech is out of the way, many delegates almost seem to breathe a sigh of relief and are able to move forward in the conference with more confidence than before. The quicker you can get that first speech out there, the quicker you will get over that hurdle. So challenge yourself, raise that hand on zoom, and make your first speech of the conference. You may just get an extra boost of confidence, with the first speech over and done with. 

Tips For MUN Online

The  10th annual Sir Winston Churchill Model United Nations Conference will be taking place Oct 16th – 17th, and as you already know, we will be completely online this year. This is a new experience for many delegates, as Model U.N. online is something that not a lot of people have experience with. Especially seeing as SWCHSMUN is one of the first conferences in the school year, we understand that for most delegates participating, our conference will be their first ever online MUN competition. That can definitely be unnerving, but here are some tips for Model United Nations online that should hopefully make you a bit more confident heading into next weekend.

Before the conference

  1. Test your microphone, speaker, and camera beforehand 

The most important thing in MUN is communication, and that is no different for MUN online. In our case, communication will have to rely on if we can hear you, if we can see you, and if you can hear us. You certainly don’t want to be panicking minutes before the conference because you cannot figure out why your microphone is not working properly. We are going to be hosting our conference over Zoom, so that is the platform where you want to make sure everything functions as they are supposed to. You can check your technology ahead of time, by opening Zoom and clicking into the settings tab. Here, you can toggle to both “Video” and “Audio”, which allows you to test if your camera, microphone, and speaker are properly functioning. 

  1. Find a comfortable place

SWCHSMUN will be taking place over the course of several hours on both days. Although we have breaks allotted, you still want to make sure that your back doesn’t give out half an hour into the conference. Make sure you find a place to sit that is comfortable, has room to put a computer in front of you, and is at a level where you can type from your device.  

  1. Have your research ready

Whether your research is digital or physical, make sure that it is handy. You can have these open on another tab, or printed/written out in a binder in your lap. No matter where it is, having your research readily available is always a good idea. Not only does it give you the opportunity to quickly find statistics or references when making speeches, it can also boost your confidence by knowing exactly what you are talking about. 

During the conference

  1. Send notes

Since everyone will be communicating virtually instead of in-person, communication is key. No longer can you just make plans in the lobby area before the conference starts, or speak to the person sitting next to you while waiting for your chairs. That is why sending notes through private messages is so crucial at SWCHSMUN this year. Aside from speeches, they are your only means of communication during moderated caucuses. So make sure to send lots of messages, so that you can get everyone on the same page. 

  1. Be coordinated 

Something that will be so important is coordination with the delegates that you are working with. Which breakout room will you meet in during the unmod? Where will you be typing out your resolution? What is the link to the shared google docs between your bloc? These are all things that you want to stay on top of to make everything as smooth as possible. While staying coordinated is hard and nothing can be perfect, keeping coordination in mind when making decisions is always a good idea. 

  1. Be patient

Online MUN is something new for all of us. Some delegates may have a faulty mic, others may not be familiar with the Zoom interface. Your chairs may even need some extra time with the digital platform that we are using. Even though all of us, chairs and delegates, will try our very best to make the conference go as smoothly as possible, we can’t guarantee perfection. No one can. So let’s all be patient with one another, and make this experience as rewarding as any other in-person Model United Nations conference.