Hail Bert, Emperor of Europe: Mock session offers preview of rapidly approaching conference

It looked like the real thing – a page constantly jogging from delegate to delegate, collecting instructions for troop movements, exactly one delegate taking the proceedings as seriously as if it were an actual war, students turned generals and kings struggling mightily to stop the march of Bert’s legions (Napoleon decided on a new name) across Europe. NAMUN 2015’s staff was ready and willing at the first mock session on January 30.

“The mock conference is over now, I can say that we have an amazing and knowledgeable staff and right now, all their kinks have been kicked out,” said Brian Malczyk, Director of General Assemblies (GA).

“We are fully prepared and looking forward to the actual conference.”

The staff rehearsed three committees during the dry run: DISEC (GA’s Disarmament and International Security committee), the Napoleonic Wars, and the Xinjiang Region. Staff assumed the roles of delegates in order to give their colleagues -- moderators in particular -- experience.

On a few occasions, particularly near the beginning of the the session, moderators and delegates stumbled over procedural rules.

“When you’re done, you’re done,” said Jennifer Eensild, Senior Academic Coordinator, explaining that delegates do not need to explicitly yield their time to the chair when closing contributions in Joint Crisis Committees (JCC).

Experienced staffers like Eensild were quick to share their expertise when their more junior colleagues had trouble deciding what to do next.

“I’m getting used to it,” said first-time Moderator Iryna Pokora, who led the People’s Republic of China committee (PRC) at the mock session. “So its kind of nerve-wracking right now but I’m learning.”

“Our aim is to make this MUN experience as memorable, as well as exciting, as possible,” said Areya Desai, Vice-Director of GAs.

The staff as a whole were themselves appropriately excited for the upcoming committees: “There are a broad range of topics, committees, and styles with very disparate mechanics. And they're all distinct from one another, for example the IMF has a very distinct experience in comparison to the Napoleonic Wars,” said Christian Paas-Lang, Director of Specialized Agencies.

As the mock conference neared its close, President Xi Jinping and his counsel were debating whether to go to war because of terrorist threats over a reality TV show.