By: Alex Silvestri
Opening ceremony began with the wise words of Brent Horwart, first undersecretary-general, reminding delegates that they are here to represent real voices and speak for the people living in silence. Horwart finished his speech with a quote from Socialist activist Bayard Rustin, leaving the delegates with food for thought as they go into the weekend, “Continuous resistance in non-violent form breaks through the paralyzing peace; which is peace for the master, and misery for the mastered. Paradoxically, as it breaks the unjust social peace, its weapon of goodwill and love builds the sacred base of real brotherhood, in which the dignity and equal opportunity of every person is sacred and guaranteed.”
Following Horwart’s motivational speech, April Valete, the secretary general, gave her own words of inspiration. She reminded delegates to use this weekend to enhance their public-speaking and critical-thinking skills as they collaborate with other delegates. Valete also encouraged delegates with smaller countries to keep in mind that they still have a voice in the issues and resolutions.
Along with the Code of Conduct speech often comes sagging eyelids and hardy yawns. However, Collin Westgard quickly got the delegates attention, and even a few laughs, when he pointed out that entering other delegates rooms could not only result in being sent home, but also “political assassination.”
Finishing up Opening Ceremony was none other than, James Farnsworth. Farnsworth is the Vice Chair of the State Steering Committee and has been working closely with, Jack Ellis chair of the state steering committee, to raise awareness and donation goals for the “whY I Give” campaign. “whY I Give” began at the 2014 Model Assembly and was an immediate success. The goal of the campaign is to raise money for delegates who would not be able to attend conferences like Model United Nations without financial aid. Those interested in donating to “whY I Give” and receiving a bracelet or lanyard can find the booth outside of General Assembly Chambers during breaks.
Sara Bultsma, a senior from the Lakeville Delegation said, “It’s my first year at MUN and I was very intrigued to see all the countries stand up that will be participating in the conference. Also, the bagpipes were cool and an aspect I’ve never seen at other YIG Conferences.” Whether or not you felt the same as Bultsma, excitement was definitely in the air as delegates dispersed for committee time.
By: Alex Silvestri