Model UN to stay under AMS control

AMS votes down motion to remove QMUN from Campus Activities Commission

A motion to remove Queen’s Model United Nations (QMUN) from AMS Policy Manual and leave Queen’s International Affairs Association (QIAA) to run the only Model United Nations Conference failed with a vote of 10 for and 25 against last night at AMS assembly.

QIAA, an organization with an office in the Student Life Centre, is responsible for training and fielding a Model United Nations team that competes at conferences across Canada and the US.

QIAA is a high ranking member of the MUN community in North America, having recently received second place at a conference at WestPoint, and is known as a training ground for up and coming politicians.

QMUN is the official AMS run Model United Nations assembly. Occurring once a year with eight different committees, QMUN advertises itself as a no experience needed simulation of the UN which encourages students from all faculties to debate on a wide variety of topics.

The motion, put forward by QIAA President Digvijay Mehra, ArtSci ’14, and Vice President Kelvin Kwok, ArtSci 13, would remove a clause from the AMS Campus Activities Commission (CAC) mandate, mandating QMUN to run their conference.

The removal would leave QIAA as the only MUN-organizing group on campus.

Members present claimed that QIAA didn’t have the experience or the logistical and economic support necessary to run a large conference like QMUN, citing the failure of the conference for high school students they attempted earlier this year.

Mehra and Kwak were quick to point out that the conference had been cancelled due to the teachers strike, and not due to any incompetence on the part of QIAA.

Many spoke in support of the proposal, citing the strong network of support they had at QIAA and the thorough training they received before conferences that created a friendly and inclusive atmosphere.

Supporters of the motion also argued the CAC and QMUN didn’t provide an inclusive and non-competitive atmosphere, contrary to their claims. They also cited a lack of quality training for committee chairs as a huge problem that needed to be addressed. Many spoke about the lack of support in QMUN as having made it a very negative experience that in the end caused them to become more involved with QIAA.

The AMS executive made it very clear that as a group they were opposed to the motion and didn’t understand why two model UN conferences couldn’t happen and simply be run by different organizations.

“I am sad that it had to come to assembly and we couldn’t work on it behind the scenes,” said Norah Elvidge, ArtSci 13, the outgoing CAC Deputy Commissioner for Conferences whose portfolio includes QMUN. “In the end I’m happy about how it went down, but I’m also happy that there’s no bad blood between our organizations.”

Mehra said he was undiscouraged.

“One thing very important to note is that we are very committed to ensuring a unified model UN program, even if there are two conferences or a third conference, regardless of what happens, our premier focus is on ensuring the success of model UN at Queen’s.”

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