My story in the MUN program begins similar to yours. Five years ago, I remember sitting quietly in the corner of a high school classroom helping pass notes back and forth, while watching the way high schoolers with badges around their necks wearing suits and formal pants firmly argued about current global issues. Interested at what was being discussed but most importantly, impressed with the ability their voice with not a single doubt. A skill, a timid young girl was not even close to mastering but was curious enough to try.
The years that came after that, I participated in the local MUN simulations only to receive a participation award. I would convince myself every session that during the next one I would do my best to raise my placard and contribute to the debate, however, this plan was easier said than done.
Years later, I was admitted to a class that marked the beginning of a journey, MUN 9. At first, the outspoken individuals in the class made me feel out of place. However, the Queretaro trip and all the eureka moments, the get-togethers at Daniel and Maria’s house, and the study session at Nadia’s were all moments that slowly transformed period 2 in A201 into a second home.
Then came MUN 10, once I had finally built the courage to raise my hand, speak out, and try my best to run for a leadership position, I was again placed in a new, unknown, and nerve-racking environment, the Secretariat class, and to top that off I was placed in a department I did not know much about with only one person by my side who was also new to the job. Together we would constantly mess up, ask questions, and mess up again. That is why I propose the implementation of Secretariat Mentors. Which consists of a member of the Secretariat class being paired with one or two members of the MUN program belonging to or aspiring to be in the same department in the years to come. Encouraging each individual to learn about the role of a particular department during IMMUNS. Aside from promoting bonding between the generations, the insight gained of a particular department through a Secretariat mentor will give any of the 11th-grade students that are not in Secretariat to have a decent chance of running for a USG position. Secretariat mentors could also assist in event planning or even just editing position papers for another MUNER.
Nonetheless, there is only so much a fellow Secretariat member can do. To even further facilitate a department’s understanding of their job, the usage of department handbooks is crucial, which is currently being worked by Roby and the rest of this year’s IT department. The department handbook should provide instructions for the simplest of tasks, and job descriptions for each Secretariat member, in order for every department to rely on the handbook in case of any doubt. But aside from having department handbooks, we should have a MUN Contact book, that contains each past Secretariat members contact as well as school staff’s contact, past suppliers from a different department, and even sponsors and donor contacts. By having these, the secretariat could easily have something to fall back on in case of any doubt. With such a tool, lots of holdbacks that we experienced this year could be easily avoided.
It is no secret that this year’s finance department struggled in paying back all debts. Although we supposedly have a certain spending limit for each department, each year IMMUNS gets more and more expensive, therefore it is absolutely necessary to have a formal and strict budget. The budget will consist of allowing each department to have a certain percentage of the amount of money that is already in the IMMUNS account and every department will have to subdivide their own budget. For instance, LORE could have 25% of the whole IMMUNS money, and 60% of their department budget will be strictly for food during the event. Aside from avoiding unnecessary and excessive spending, this will also help in making sure Secretariat leaves money to buy any necessities for future years.
Moving on, there are moments throughout the year in which a certain department has a larger agenda than others, and could use an extra hand. Therefore through a weekly survey, each member of Secretariat will answer the tasks they have done throughout the week, and the tasks they will complete during the following week. With this information, we can make sure Secretariat members that are less occupied than others, could provide assistance to departments in need.
Obviously, all the things I have mentioned have the same purpose: making IMMUNS the best it can be. However, to do this we must remember what MUN truly represents: advocating for change. We are constantly debating about change and all of the resolution papers that would allow such transformation to occur. This year with the community service projects offered during IMMUNS we got a step closer to the actual hands-on effort it takes to make a small impact, but there is still room to further explore this. Therefore, as a Secretariat class, we should establish contact with UNICEF or another organization and their work with local schools here in Monterrey. Throughout the semester, we should organize a few activities with this institution and later fundraise for this cause during IMMUNS. After all, we should be setting an example for those that come next.
It was five years ago, I sat on that dark blue chair on the corner of that high school classroom in silence. Never could I have imagined that I would turn into one of those high schoolers that I observed in awe. Never could I had imagined that today, I would be standing here, in front of all of you. That it would only take time, friendships, experiences, and practice to find my voice. I may not be the most outspoken or the most talkative, like you all may know. and I am sure that six months ago, no one ever imagined I would be campaigning to be your next secretary-general. But I am passionate about this class, our mission, and every individual in Secretariat. And if there is one thing I have learned throughout these years, is that passion breaks the barrier between the need to participate and the actual love of doing so.