University University Feature

DLSU bags awards in 2016 SGMUN, plans ongoing to form delegation for World MUN 2017

For the past three years, DLSU has been sending delegations to several Model United Nations (MUN) conferences. Recently, two delegates from DLSU won the honorable mention and outstanding delegate award during the inaugural 2016 Singapore Management University Global Model United Nations (SGMUN) held last September 9-11.

MUN conferences are educational simulations of the day-to-day activities in the United Nations, wherein delegates are placed in committees and assigned to represent countries, organizations, or political figures. Assignments are given in advance, and delegates are asked to research in preparation for the debates that they will conduct with their fellow delegates. At the end of the conference, delegates who stood out will be recognized with awards.


Plans to join World MUN

With the success of DLSU throughout different MUN conferences, Kevin Tan and other delegates are now planning to join the 2017 Harvard World Model United Nations (World MUN) as head delegates. Tan says that they have already agreed with College of Liberal Arts External Affairs Director Allen Surla to become their faculty adviser. They are starting to build a team as early as October.

According to Tan, the World MUN is totally different compared to other MUNs, considering that it is sponsored by Harvard University and will be attended by other Ivy League institutions. He adds that in order to survive the conference, one needs to be aggressive and outspoken with regard to their stands on the topics.

Surla states that the cases in the World MUN are crisis-oriented. Unlike the National Model United Nations which involves diplomatic negotiations and position papers, the World MUN involves more crisis situations and debates on topics such as war and terrorism. “So in the case of World MUN, it’s a different set of people doing the same thing [with other MUNs], but they say that they are a lot more serious,” he adds.

Moreover, there is an add-on feature in the World MUN wherein the delegates will not represent countries, but well-known individuals. For instance, the delegates would be assigned to represent different political figures during World War II. Surla states that the same parliamentary procedures are applied, and will more or less be similar to what is followed in the Philippine Senate.


Screening process

Considering that this is the first time DLSU will send a delegation to World MUN, Surla explains that they are going to be more liberal in terms of the selection of delegates. There are several factors they need to consider, such as financial capability, knowledge of international relations, and the willingness to train hard.

With or without experiences with MUN conferences, Tan says that the delegates need to be outspoken and have the drive to be there and represent DLSU. He also emphasized that the screening process will be relatively similar to how delegates are screened for the NMUN, which includes writing a position paper and attending simulations and interviews, among others.

Tan furthers that the DLSU MUN Society, which is at the moment still undergoing accreditation to become a student organization, will also help with the screening process. “They’re helping us [because] they have the system with them [already]—how to train, how to recruit, how to screen properly the people,” he enumerates.

DLSU MUN Society President Bianca Ruiz and Training Director Patrick Kahn both agree that in any MUN conference, in this case the World MUN, the delegates have to be charismatic and dedicated to the program. Kahn adds that when accepting delegates, they tend to get students from different backgrounds and disciplines.


Training and development

According to Kahn, the DLSU delegates to World MUN will be integrated into the training program of the DLSU MUN Society, which includes access to the coaching staff and the rigorous training process. Aside from this, the delegates will also receive guidance under Surla, who will be lecturing them on international relations.

With regard to maintaining DLSU’s reputation in MUN conferences, Surla asserts that they are going to need good training in terms of public speaking, debating, writing, and negotiating, among others. The training programs are usually three times a week, and during the last two weeks before the actual conference, Surla says that it happens practically every day.


DLSU’s future in MUNs

“Our caliber I think is already international, kahit ano pa sabihin nila. We’re able to do those things, and we’ve been winning awards. World MUN is not a dream anymore. It’s another step, on whether we conquer it as soon as we’re in, or we conquer it a year later, we will conquer it one way or the other,” Surla expounds.

Meanwhile, the DLSU MUN Society has a set of plans prepared already once they get accredited. According to Ruiz and Kahn, they aim to be the pioneers of a MUN culture in the Philippines, which will hopefully strengthen the country’s participation in MUN conferences. Their plans include participating in other MUN conferences, handling training programs for delegates, and spreading the MUN culture in the country by hosting local MUN conferences.

Ruiz adds that, as much as possible, they want people to be involved within the program. “We believe that Lasallians are naturally charismatic, very skillful in terms of everything that involves academics. We want them to apply their knowledge and skills in this program, because there’s a lot to learn [from your] interactions with different people,” she concludes.

Rebekah Navarro

By Rebekah Navarro

Ian Benedict Mia

By Ian Benedict Mia

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