You know the current topic like the back of your hand. You’ve heard other delegates speaking before you and now, it’s your turn. Looking out from the podium is a bit nerve-wracking at first, but as you continue speaking, you get into a rhythm. Soon, diplomatic eloquence is flowing out of you like you have been blessed by Walter Mondale himself. Finally, you stick the landing with a firm, “I yield my time to the chair.” “The delegate is out of order- you don’t need to yield your time to the chair” says the presiding officer. Wait- what?
Many delegates this year are finding themselves in similar positions (trying their best to resist the urge to yield their time) due to the recent crackdown on proper parliamentary procedure. Although is has been a commonplace practice to yield time during past years’ conferences, in actuality, MUN delegates have never had to utter this phrase, “You can talk for as long as you want” says Laura Nelson, the AFSA Delegation Leader. She claims that the origin for yielding time comes from The Youth Conference on National Affairs (CONA), one of the YMCA Summer Programs. “Delegates in CONA are given a set amount of time to use for discussion… so saying ‘I yield my time to the chair’ is important to structural debating techniques at National Affairs.” She claims that this behavior was unintentionally incorporated into Model United Nations procedures by Minnesota Delegates that attended CONA. However, one appropriate MUN use of the phrase, according to Nelson, is during discussion in which a delegate on the speaker’s list has a point no longer relevant to conversation and does not wish to speak at all. The question still remained- how should a delegate signify an end to the point they have made? Mondale President Egeziharya Yilma said, “A solid placard drop and ‘we out’” would do.
Author: John Kroska