Decorum Delegates Reviews . . . ReadingMUN 2016

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  • Location – Reading
  • Date – 25th – 27th November
  • # of delegates – 110
  • # of committees – 5
  • Cost: delegate fee £25, social pack £30 (optional), accommodation pack £56 (optional)

ReadiMUN, hosted and run by the University of Reading boasts an accommodating and friendly atmosphere for delegates on all paths of their MUN journey. Now in its 5th year, ReadiMUN did not disappoint, living up to its reputation as a well-loved and compact conference.

Academics
ReadiMUN offers 5 committees of different sizes, ranging from just 8 delegates in the SC to a few dozen in larger committees like the UNHRC. Alessandra Sternik from UNHRC, for whom ReadiMUN is her first conference, commented that “the quality of study guides was good, though I would not say that they were extremely useful.” ReadiMUN attracted a wide range of delegates, from complete beginners to seasoned MUN-ers, resulting in a good variety of committee difficulty levels. Disappointingly, the conference didn’t have a crisis committee.

Felix Johnston-Brunn, who chaired NATO also commented, “I was incredibly impressed with how delegates conducted themselves during the conference and the way in which they worked with each other to produce an outstanding communique.”

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Ceremonies
Set in the venerable Great Hall of the University, the venue for the opening ceremony was well-chosen. The Christmas tree which stood in the background provided much-needed festivity, warming up a cold Friday evening. For one and a half hours, delegates heard some well-crafted welcome speeches by members of the secretariat and were addressed by Sir Adam Roberts, the esteemed guest speaker from the University of Oxford. Chan Sheng, Chair of Security Council and veteran ReadiMUN-er commented, “the speech was the only one in recent years that I actually bothered to listen to”.

The closing ceremony was set in a lecture hall within the same building as the committee rooms. While not as grand as the Great Hall, the lecture theatre was modern and impressive. It was a pretty standard closing ceremony overall: outstanding delegates were duly recognised, words of thanks were given and goodbyes were bid.

 

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The Great Hall: the opening ceremony venue

Socials
Socials covered both nights of the conference for delegates who bought the social pack, including an elegant drinks reception and club night on Friday, and a formal dinner on Saturday.

Reviews for the socials are mixed. “If I had to point out any negatives I’d say socials was a let down: the club night was ok but basic and the drinks were also very expensive”, a head delegate pointed out. Chair of SC, Chan Sheng, found the social satisfactory, commenting that, “the chosen clubs and pubs are very close to the hotel to ensure everyone can return safely after a hard night. Drinks can be pricey but Reading is not a cheap place”.

Around half the delegates showed up for the formal dinner on Saturday night, which included a buffet dinner at a classy restaurant. It was a gala occasion where delegates made a real effort to glam up, despite being let down by drinks prices.

Logistics and Communications
A view echoed by the majority of attendees is that the host team did a good job in terms of communication and organisation. Despite having only seven members on the secretariat team, the chair and delegates who hail from Reading University acted as volunteers, notably to pick up delegates from the train station on Friday.

There were clear instructions, both printed on pamphlets and given by helpers and Reading students of where to go and at what time during the conference. The committee rooms were all set on the same floor of the Palmer Building and remained the same for the two days, which was helpful for delegates new to the University. Moreover, the logistics team quickly came to delegates’ rescue with extension cords, coffee and cookies.

Some minor logistics mishaps arose, such as missing placards and WiFi problems, but these were always promptly taken care of by the secretariat team. ReadiMUN also provided an accommodation pack with Premier Inn which many delegates had commended as thoughtful.

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Delegates were well-dressed but not necessarily well-behaved at Saturday night’s social

Right of Reply

“The ReadiMUN Secretariat is proud this year to have expanded our Conference beyond Europe, receiving delegates from India, Bangladesh, and Nigeria. The positive feedback which we have been receiving, both from beginners and from experienced delegates, warmed our hearts and gave us confidence that, although the Conference can certainly be improved, it has already reached a good standard, and will continue to grow in the future.

We shall consider this feedback and ensure that in future years, drink prices will be more affordable, though as mentioned Reading is naturally more expensive. We also hope to improve on study guides, as we believe it extremely important for all delegates to be supported in all possible ways before and during the Conference.

We hope to see many more of you next year, for ReadiMUN17!”

– Camille Gosset, Secretary-General, ReadiMUN 2016

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