By: Kyoka Millard
This year, Model United Nations has a record number of participants, with over 700 delegates in attendance.
“We’ve been crediting it to just having a really good year last year,” says Sam Alley, state program director. “We had a bunch of students who took leadership in their delegation.”
With nearly 150 more participants than last year, the YMCA Program has had to make adjustments to accommodate the growing amount of students. The number of 7th and 8th grade delegates has been one of the most noted increases in Model UN’s population, and as such has needed specific reorganization to facilitate debates.
“We cleared off a couple rooms on the ninth floor,” says Alley. “We have about 200 7th and 8th graders, so we needed some extra space, so we actually pulled beds and all of that stuff out of the ninth floor… We had to split the 7th and 8th grade committees, even. If we want to grow, we need more space.”
However, one of the most apparent ways in which the record number of participants will affect delegates at MUN is during break time. Individuals will have to work with longer lines for the elevators and stairs, as well as waiting in line for meals for prolonged periods.
“I haven’t yet [felt overwhelmed] but I think that’s because we haven’t been in our evening activities or at meal times when things are really packed,” says Rachel Cleveland, a junior from Brainerd. “I’m excited to interact with them, but it’d be nice if we had a larger space to do so.”
Though participants will have to adjust to the many difficulties of dealing with a large pool of delegates, state office staff like Alley are confident the program will still be able to present each student with a great opportunity. However, they must be willing to be patient with Model UN’s current situation.
“Just be mindful,” says Alley. “We don’t want to be rude to anybody and we’re here to all celebrate UN and have a good time together.”