The list of staff for the 2019 Southeastern United Nations Conference (SHSMUN) was recently announced. Baylor juniors Ridley Browder and Jade Liu, as well as sophomore Sophie Peirano are on that list.
Taking on the role as chair is considered to be a primary honor for the debaters and social science lovers. The whole process is hard, complicated, and competitive. According to these three future chairs, the requirements for their applications included basic information about themselves, a few free response questions, and one long essay. After that, they received an interview from this year's secretary general, next year's secretary general, and the SHSMUN adult supervisors. After the rigorous selection, every year, only around ten students are selected from a great number of applicants. This year, Baylor has three.
Ridley Browder is going to chair the Disarmament and International Security (DISEC) committee—his first choice—about the gradual removal of arms from nation states. Sophie Peirano will chair the Economic and Financial (ECOFIN) committee, dealing with financial matters on a global scale. Liu's committee still remains undecided. All three are long-term MUN lovers, having multiple experiences in attending MUN conferences. According to Browder, Model UN is "life changing," bestowing on him "a different perspective on the realm of the United Nations."
While being a big honor, the position of chair also means a great commitment. The staff, during the same time, are facing a heavy workload and a great responsibility. They are going to have their first meeting in January. Then, they will need to complete an abundant amount of research and write three topic guides for the topics they pick; they need to become experts in parliamentary procedure; when the time comes for the next conference, they also need to read all of the position papers submitted by those in their respective committees, correct them, set a docket of resolutions for debate, set up the conference, and ultimately chair the three day conference. "It is a lot of work, but it's going to be fun," said Peirano.
The next conference of SHSMUN is going to be at the beginning of Thanksgiving break. "I think doing MUN really challenges students to step out of their comfort zone, as it requires public speaking and collaboration with people you don't really know," said Liu. "MUN provides so many benefits outside of the classroom, and therefore I would encourage everyone to try it at least once," she added,