Frankly speaking, I have been in the circuit of MUN for 5 some odd years, reaching my 6th. I think I have the honour to not only hear-say but also to experience some of the excitement as well as draw-backs within this world, by the way MUN is still the best student activity there is.
I think my first genuine personal experience of a scoring system is in xxMUN, one of the biggest MUN conferences in China, arguably the most influential one. It has pioneered the MUN path in China by getting great universities involved, especially for those that are so well into MUN before, namely the Ivy Leagues as such. Surely they did not started off that big, that is due to practical considerations of course, but by bringing in more contributors into their conference, they have most definitely taken this into a whole new level. Mind you, I started my MUN career in 2010 by participating into this conference; it was great fun, likewise for their 2011 and 2012 conference.
So, I was in my 4th xxMUN, as an assistant director. There are quite a lot of controversies before this particular conference because there have been quite a lot of business fluctuations within the company-yes, this conference is owned by a company and massive revenue was generated from these conferences. Basically they are no longer the original body of the xxMUN as I used to have, that intact, friendly, welcoming body of the entire group. But for the first time in 4 odd years, I felt the sense of unfamiliarity immediately when I walk into the chair’s meeting that is of course for assistant chairs only. And yet though there are quite a lot of familiar faces within the Secretariat, those being the same, if not similar age as I did; the audiences, the assistant directors were just having their blank faces on. It is not in a sense that I should have known them from before, I never did, even for my pass sessions of this particular conference; but this time is just different, they were blank as if they don’t feel attached, or exciting, they were as if they are on a suicide mission to somewhere else on earth, rather than what they are having here-supposedly fun and enjoyable experience provided to them.
I do not dare to question the hierarchal system, or the way that things work in China, it works there, though not everyone is happy; and I think we shall leave it like that, afterall it’s the aggregate efforts that matter.
Not long after the starting of the meeting, the DG announced that we were going to have a scoring system, very self-explanatory, the purpose of which is for others, especially for Directors to rate us, using mere numerical figures. I was genuine astonished by that, like WOW. I have heard quite a lot of similar scoring systems that other delegations have used, for the sake of selecting the most capable delegates to participate into the “MUN competition”, (China being China) and yet I have never for once feel that this was, or is going to be happened on me.
Immediately after that announcement, I wanted to quit, I wanted to leave xxMUN because I am can no longer see myself as a part of it. 4 year, that is, 4 years that I have been involved into MUN, during that particular conference, and I might be the most experience ones amongst them all, and yet the feeling of distant struck me as never before. That is I suppose, I have always treated MUN as an enjoyment, not for the sake of having the particular reward after couple days of intense debates, but it the kind of idea that you can really get much out of these conferences, i.e. knowing more people, and be more open to other opinions because you have been exposed to much more than others within your cohort have. I shall call it intrinsic, not instrumental, because I think this is one of the reason why MUN in China has gone so popular (in a sense of it being everywhere and anywhere) and yet not such much so (no one really likes it, at least not as close as we once were).
I am more of a political philosopher, as of now instead of a political scientist, as I do sense that there is something more to the issue than it is of now, now being the facts that were represented by mere figures and numbers. At least for myself, the genuine reason behind my prolonged involvement within MUN is that there is a lot more than mere tests and exams, that I was already fed up with in the reality (you can call MUN as a relaxation to me, a very rewarding one of course).
And yet I am devastated that the scoring system has even reached us, the chairing forces, because I think we, as parts of the chairing force appreciate the intrinsic value within MUN more than the delegates. In fact I think that is one of the reason why we remain in this arena, albeit it being extremely time-consuming and expensive as such.
I quit xxMUN, after my final participation in it during 2013.
And yet, the very same thing happens to me, in the other part of the world, in an entirely different country, in England; though this time I am not so much emotional, that is I think I am a bit MUN Drunk, at least the introduction did not strike me per se, but surely it did surprised me, still quite a lot.
I am somewhat intrigued this time and also devastated, because this is my 3rd session of this conference.
Fingers crossed and hope for the best.