GATOR MUN 2023 Conference


Luka Vaicekauskas

On January 20-22, the Plant MUN team made their way up to the University of Florida in Gainesville to participate in the annual GATORMUN conference. Posing in the Reitz Union, the Plant MUN team concluded their first in-person conference since the Covid-19 pandemic.

January 20-22, the Plant MUN team made their way up to the University of Florida in Gainesville to participate in the annual GATORMUN conference. MUN, abbreviated for Model United Nations, is an educational simulation in which students can learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the function of the United Nations. For the weekend, students become delegates in important international forums addressing complex global issues such as preventing the spread of diseases, defending human rights, and upholding justice in the international system. 

GatorMUN is staffed by college student volunteers, which gives participants an insight on how college MUN works, and practice for those aspiring to participate in it after high school.  

“MUN is a great club to expand your horizons, and allow you to see the differences that occur not just in the world, but also being able to get along with other people,” Kimberly Marr, the club sponsor, said.  

For the conference, students had to write position papers, which are required in every General Assembly Committee. There is an award for Best Position Paper in those committees, which have to be structured and written in regards to the assigned countries point of view on the issue.  

After submitting their position papers and making their way up to Gainesville, the Pant MUN delegates began their weekend committee sessions. Wearing Western Business Attire throughout every committee session, students practiced their public and exprontu speaking, foreign affairs, and cooperation skills throughout.  

“A successful MUN delegate is able to get along with people but at the same time keep their own interests in mind, but doing that from the perspective of whatever country they are representing- they have to be adaptable and flexible,” Marr said. 

Friday, January 20, began with an opening ceremony, and then the first Committee Session, lasting 3 hours.  

“The Plant MUN delegates did a great job in getting along with other people and a fantastic job learning, because as this was our first conference, we focused on understanding how MUN conferences work, and I thought they did a great job everyday of the committees in learning and applying new information,” Marr said. 

The next day since early morning, students went back to the Reitz Union, and attended a total of 3 Committee Sessions, totaling nearly nine hours, in order to write resolution papers and discuss the ultimate decision on how to approach the issue.  

“What was the highlight of the GatorMUN experience?” 

On Sunday, the last Committee session was attended, following a closing ceremony, and a walk around the University of Florida campus.  

And after returning to Tampa and getting back on track with the daily routine, it is time to reflect and set future goals.  

“I would like to do more conferences-  a big conference out there is on the dream list too is the one in New York in the Spring where we would get to go to the UN and sit at the headquarters of the United Nations,” Marr said.