From Oct. 15-17, UNC Charlotte will host the "Carolinas Conference," the University's annual Model United Nations (MUN) conference open to high school and college delegates. Rowe's opening and closing ceremonies will be in all other portions of the conference taking place in Fretwell and Denny. A conference is a student-run event planned and run by experienced members and alumni of UNC Charlotte's MUN team.
According to UNC Charlotte's MUN website, MUN "allows students to roleplay delegates to the United Nations (UN) and simulate UN committees."
This year's conference will be the first in-person conference since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the conference to be conducted virtually in 2020. According to Ramya Ezhilarasan, the secretary-general of the conference, they are planning a safe conference.
"A lot of planning goes into an event like this," said Ezhilarasan. "Planning usually starts over the summer and involves booking rooms on campus, submitting emails to other colleges and high schools across the state and nearby states such as South Carolina and Georgia, and even as far away as Canada and Mexico, and gathering volunteers to help write speeches that need to be debated."
As of Oct. 3, 210 people, including UNC Charlotte students, are signed up for the conference. However, this number may rise to at least 240 attendees, with some attending virtually. There is no maximum or minimum capacity for people attending, whether it is solo or in groups.
At least 30 countries such as Afghanistan, South Africa, Australia, France, Germany, Norway, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States will be represented during the conference. The international organizations represented during the conference include the Disarmament and International Security (DISEC), the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
"The conference is expected to be a great weekend filled with new ideas and solutions that the members of the real United Nations currently struggle with, along with other world events such as getting vaccine passports," said Ezhilarasan. Ezhilarasan also stated that a guest speaker associated with UNICEF will be attending.
According to the Carolinas Conference website, Delegates are expected to wear western business attire to the conference. This includes wearing suits, blazers, dress shirts, blouses, skirts, slacks and appropriate dress shoes. If a delegate is caught violating the dress code, then they will be given a warning.
The conference will include a lot of speeches, soft skills and lots of research on current issues facing the world today. In addition to vaccine passports, other topics to be debated at this year's conference including drone warfare, climate change, and combating the threat of cyberattacks to international infrastructure and security.
"It's like one big play since each member is assigned a country and a topic and students do research based off of a country they are assigned to and are prepared to speak and represent that country throughout that weekend and convince and persuade member states and nations why their plan makes sense and why the rest of the world should sign on and agree," Ezhilarasan said.
The goal of each committee is to produce resolutions that address their topics. Delegates are asked not to bring pre-written resolutions and instead are asked to work with their committee to create resolutions during the conference. Awards are also given to delegates, determined by committee chairs, and announced during the closing ceremony. Certificates will be handed out to each delegate during that time, with those attending virtually receiving their certificates through email.
People can register for the conference by joining the MUN Club on campus or register through the organization's website. The cost of attending the conference, according to the website, is $25 per student. Unfortunately, payments are only accepted through PayPal this year, including those attending virtually.
To join UNC Charlotte's MUN, people can sign up through Niner Engage and attend weekly club meetings, usually held Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. in Friday 141. Delegates are responsible for finding the best solutions in international relations and see how other countries and nations think and view the world.