Teton County Model UN is a two-day conference that takes place in the social science wing and auditorium of Jackson Hole High School. The conference begins with registration, after which student delegates attend an opening address from the TCMUN keynote speaker and an introduction from the Student Secretary-General. After opening remarks, students disperse to the first of three committee sessions. During these sessions, which take place over the remainder of day 1 and on the morning of day 2, students debate their assigned topics and write resolutions. On the afternoon of the second day, representatives from each committee present their resolutions at the General Assembly Session. Presided over by the Student Secretary-General, the student delegates then vote on each of the resolutions. After voting on all resolutions, the General Assembly Session is adjourned. To close the conference, outstanding students receive awards for ‘Most Outstanding Delegate’ from each committee; and ‘Outstanding Position Paper’ from each school, as part of a final awards ceremony. For a better idea of the exact time frame of events, please see the 2016 conference schedule.
The TCMUN conference is comprised of five to seven committees that rotate annually. The Security Council is the only committee that does not rotate.
The Security Council is composed of 15 student delegates representing the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and the 10 countries currently serving on the council. The other committees are made up of 20 – 55 student delegates, each representing a different country. In total, TCMUN includes approximately 200 student delegates representing up to 50 countries.
IC21 makes every effort to assign country positions fairly. In most cases, IC21 tries to limit the number of countries any one school receives—e.g. a class of 17 at any given school may be assigned 6 spots for China, 6 spots for Germany, and 5 spots for Brazil rather than one spot each from 17 different countries. This makes the teaching process easier and allows students to work together while preparing for the conference. Because countries are assigned this way, students from different schools are generally spread evenly throughout the six committees. This even distribution encourages maximum diversity within each committee and encourages students to break out of their “school bubble” and work with other students they do not know.
Each of the committees is co-chaired by an adult (usually a teacher) who has experience with parliamentary procedures and other key elements of model UN. In addition, each committee has one student chair, a TCMUN alum who has been selected by IC21 staff and board members. Co-chairs assist the chair, maintain the speakers list, keep track of timing, and help organize and print the draft resolutions.
At first, many students new to TCMUN are intimidated by the parliamentary procedures and debates in committee session. It is IC21’s experience that these students gain confidence over the two-day conference. Having become actively engaged in caucusing and negotiating activities with fellow committee members the first morning, they often step up by the afternoon of the first day to speak in front of the entire committee.