Maintaining a global vision: McMUN’s Chargée d’affaires discusses goals for 2016
This year’s McMUN Chargée d’affaires, Ginny Tan, may be defined as an enthusiastic, committed and passionate individual. Following a number of years spent as a MUN delegate, Ginny is now the primary link between delegates and the conference itself. Amidst the buzz of the conference, I had the opportunity to learn more about Ginny’s vision for McMUN 2016 and her past MUN experiences.
What does your role as Chargée d’affaires entail?
I am in charge of the registration of delegates and of communication with all the head delegates. Essentially, I am their main point of contact and the liaison between the conference itself and all the participating schools. I am also in charge of distributing the conference assignments to all 1,500 delegates. When I assumed the position this summer, I was provided with the list of all delegates who came last year and sent them an invitation. At the same time, I did my own research and sent out invitations to school which had not previously been to McMUN or which hadn’t attended McMUN in the last couple of years.
What was your vision for McMUN this year?
My vision for McMUN this year was to make it more international than ever before. I think we succeeded, to a certain extent. We do have delegations from Taiwan, Australia and Spain. That’s something I’m super proud of! I also wanted to make McMUN more innovative. For the first time ever, we introduced the McGill International Review Paper Competition — in itself a more academic competition — and I think it went really well. We also incorporated our conference theme a lot more than in previous years. And of course we have our mobile phone app for all events!
The UN is essentially about international relations. To what extent does McMUN reproduce this?
This Model UN conference creates an opportunity for like-minded individuals from all around the world to come together. It is the same principle as that of the United Nations — grouping a large number of diplomats who all have a same concern for world issues. We are still a simulation, not the real thing, but I think we get pretty close!
What were some of your best Model UN experiences as a delegate and staff?
For many competing delegates, their fondest Model UN memory is probably the first time they win an award. Therefore my fondest memory is when, back in 2010, I won the best delegate award at PANAMUN. It was extremely rewarding because it was completely unexpected and I had worked really hard for it. The feeling was amazing, as it was my first award ever. Of course, memories of travelling with the Model UN team are some of the best and make for the best stories. Border-crossing stories are always good, because border control officers are skeptical when they see all these international students with well-filled passports.
Is there a message you would like to share with the delegates?
I would like to make a statement on the fact that everybody starts somewhere and that hard work is behind everything. When you first arrive as a Model UN delegate, you see all the other, more intimidating delegates and you admire their eloquence and experience. But guess what, they all started somewhere! And that is also the case for those who have become committee chairs or secretariat members. I myself started out as crisis staff committee director, but we have all worked really hard to get where we are now. I believe hard work is definitely behind everything. It sounds cliché, but it is true.
Photo credits to McMUN/Matthew Fong