The first Texas MUN Regional Summit, intended to be a practice conference for the upcoming statewide MUN Conference in April, commenced with a well-programmed opening composed of introductions, a guest speaker, and orientation on Model UN procedure.
Dr. Raisinghani, a professor and director of Texas Woman’s University’s Executive MBA program as well as the sponsor for our use of TWU’s facilities, was invited to come up to the podium and speak a few words to the delegates. After sharing some of his thoughts on the conference, Dr. Raisinghani segued into a story about a simple farmer named Fleming who, along with his son, saved a man’s life two separate times, once when he was boy and the second time when he was older. The anecdote ended up drawing a collective gasp at the surprising reveal of the farmer’s son as Alexander Fleming, the future inventor of Penicillin, and the man that was saved as Winston Churchill, the future Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, speaking to the relevant values of diversity and having compassion for others.
The next half hour was utilized for orientation on four different aspects of parliamentary procedure. Ryan Blackburn headed the Speaker’s List, Luana Miranda headed Moderated and Unmoderated Caucus, Ellie Chen headed Resolutions, and Nandita Vegesna headed Conference Etiquette. The participants were split up into four smaller groups for each informational session, where novices felt more comfortable getting their concerns clarified.
The attention and engagement of the delegates in taking advantage of the opportunities made available to them spoke to how the rest of the day would go - making sure to take each others’ interests and experiences into account while engaging in thoughtful, passionate debate.