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Friday, November 16, 2012

Q&A: Officers of the Secretariat

UNiTAS journalist Jinnie K. (12) spoke with the members of our Secretariat: Secretary General Nick A. (12, TAS), Deputy Secretary General, Kar Jin O. (12, ISKL,), and Parliamentarian Thomas L. (12, TAS). 

Jinnie: How do you think this year's IASAS MUN is different from other conferences you've attended?

Thomas L: Well, first of all there are some new formats. For instance, [the addition of] the WHO committee (World Health Organization) [is new].  Also, [we ran] an ICJ simulation. None of these have been done before in IASAS. 

Nick A: ...We've streamlined an unofficial rules pamphlet, so that everything is all together in one place and more accessible for delegates....

Jinnie: What are your impressions of how things have been going so far?

Kar Jin O: ...Things have been going pretty well.... One of the advisers came up to us and said that this is one of the first few conferences where most of the advisers [have been] pretty happy about things. That's a rare thing to happen. 

Thomas: I think everything is going rather smoothly. Obviously, there are the expected emergencies that go along with every conference. But then, that's what we're [here] for.

Nick:...I think everybody's worked so hard, and [we have] really come together as a community....  It's not just TAS.  It's been all of the IASAS schools working together collectively to make this conference so special....  We really couldn't do it without the other schools and their coaches. 

Jinnie: How long have you been doing MUN? How did you get involved in it?

Nick:...I came to TAS in my freshman year not knowing anything about Taipei, and I wasn’t prepared for all that TAS [would give] me. I was looking at different extra-curricular activities and fun things to do, and I liked speaking, and I liked debate, and I liked writing, so I thought "Okay, well this might be interesting."...After that first meeting four years ago, I've never looked back. I also owe Nick Y. (12, TAS) a huge thank you.  He's our tech officer....  He also taught me most of what I know now [about MUN] as well. He was the first one that I talked to about MUN....

Kar Jin:....I was actually in debate for a while. ISKL has this mini IASAS MUN, so [they] can select [their] delegates. Prior to [that day], I had never gone to MUN.  But one of the delegates had pulled outIran. And they [said], "Hmm, Kar-Jin, you do debate right?" And I was like, "Yea…" "Then, you join!" "But I don’t know anything!" They said, "Don't worry, [we'll] teach you." So I had basically [gone] for one practice session, and then I went into the conference, and then amazingly, I got into IASAS. And here I am!

Thomas: Back in 8th grade, there was [an] Upper School MUN program that was going on at the time. They were preparing for Taiwan MUN. They were trying to expand the program into Middle School as well. So basically, Ms. Rowe, who Ms. Sinclair contacted as a liaison to the middle school [students], [asked]: "Is anyone interested?" I just went for a few practice sessions and watched and looked at what [was] going on, and I thought it was interesting, so I decided to join the next year when I was a freshman.

Jinnie: Do you have any advice to students new to MUN, or who are considering joining?

Nick: I would say two things....  As soon as you enter the IASAS playing field, your age and your grade become completely irrelevant....  How people begin to know you is entirely proportionate to the way that you speak....  So if you're new, my advice is: speak with authority....  Don't be arrogantbut treat yourself just as any other delegate....  The second thing I would tell people who are on the borderline about MUN [is] to try it out....  I didn't think I'd be any good at MUN. I didn't know anything about resolutions, and four years later I think I've learned a lot in terms of my understanding of the world....

Kar Jin:...Don't think that you're boring....  I've learned that in the last four years everybody has a story to tell and [everyone] has their own unique spin on things. And it's also really about just getting up there. The only difference between the person up on stage [and] the person who's thinking about getting on stage is just confidence, that's all. 

Thomas: Adding to that point, I have one [piece of] advice for MUN delegates: Always raise your placard.

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