What Happens Behind the Crisis Door

By: Ethnos

There’s a skeleton in the corner. There are about eight college students throwing laughter in the air. You might not recognize any of them, but without them GatorMUN as we know it would cease to exist.

Any other weekend in the year, it is just a classroom. Just a tiny little room in Matherly, the kind of classroom with thirty-five desks crammed into it and windows barely a foot above the ground. But, come January 29-31, room three of the Matherly building comes alive.

We all know crisis committees. They’re the places where anything can happen and almost every option is on the table. As someone who traveled to almost every crisis committee, I was almost aghast at how… Normal it looked. I had expected swords, enormous maps, or maybe a bucket of baseballs labeled “curveballs”. These college students have sent shock after shock after shock at their committees, they are responsible for responding to every badly-written crisis note, and, somehow, they just look like college kids.

The skeleton, Taylore Presta laughingly says, come from her mother who had starting texting her pictures of the skeleton (later named Grimwald Barebones) in various poses. Naturally, old Grimwald became a meme and then he became part of crisis.

Brady Sweet, otherwise know as one-thousand-and-one characters not seen in GRIMM, a crisis committee whose behind the scene’s action takes place in this crisis staff room. “I really like the idea behind this crisis, I really liked dealing with all the crazy stuff all these princesses are going through, trying to see how they are going to use their role to influence committee.” And the princesses’ roles give them incredible powers, such as the power to influence animals, the power to bring things back to life, and incredible sword skills.

Speaking of some of the unexpected things to go through crisis, Brady told about how “Snow White, actually, she prayed to the Irappo goddess of foxes, for him to bless her so she could help capture Pocahantas, and to do so she sacrificed six of her dwarves… She burnt them at the stake… It was so unexpected and ridiculous, it changed committee entirely.”

While Brady assured me that crisis plots can change, but “we do have a set… Idea. We knew that Princess Anna was going to be assassinated and that Elsa would go crazy and kill some of our delegates. But there is, obviously, room for change, based on people’s crisis plans. Like Merida, she turned Captain Hook into a half-bear creature… We ended up with a private fraternity and pirates roaming the seas.”

 

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The Addictive Properties of Cheese: Reporting for the Press Corps

By: TIME Magazine

I’ll admit that, while I was intrigued by the idea of Press Corps, I was unsure of how it would go when I chose this committee.  I can say whole heartedly that this was an amazing MUN experience.  It’s vastly different than any other experience I’ve had and I have no regrets choosing it.  The environment of the room is so unique compared to the other committees.  In most other rooms, you’ll find a great amount of division between delegates.  Press Corps doesn’t share this competitive nature, at least not to the same degree, and there is a sense of ease amongst everyone in the room.

One thing I’ve loved is getting to see a side of many other committees.  Being able to walk from the Court of King Tut to the African Union to the Romance of the Three Kingdoms has been unbelievably fun, and I find myself recognizing people wherever I go at this point.  

Just walking to lunch today, I had a member of the Security Council approach me on the street and ask for the time, leading to a good laugh at a well-placed pun.  I’ve had plenty of laughs from every committee, seen great things, and met even greater people.  A handful of delegates I’d like to mention as some of my favorites include (in no particular order):

  • The Oracle from the Court of the Boy King Tut (Praise the sun, friend)-

“May glory be given to the great solar, Aten.”

  • Zhang Fu, Celestial Master, of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms-

“Ah, TIME, to see a concept such as yourself in the flesh…”

  • Eunomia from Oros Olympus-

“The titans are back and it’s terrible.”

Thank you to all of the delegates who have made Press Corps so amazing for the lot of us reporters, even you, Aristaeus, and your bizarre plan to use “bees, magic bees,” to summon Prometheus on Oros Olympus.  All of the delegates have contributed to the success of the Gator Tribune, and that’s something everyone can be proud of.

Regarding the other reporters (they’re right, that sounds much better than “delegates”) and the editing staff, these are some of the greatest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.  Everyone is relaxed and collaborative, and I feel like we’re all working towards the greater goal of giving people the best stories we can.  

This committee was small enough that everything was personal, and we can all chat up one another and have a good laugh about the crazy things we hear on assignments.  The Press Corps staff has been remarkable and I have loved working with every one of them, it has truly been a great experience.  Press Corps has reminded me how much I enjoy writing and I feel like I’ve grown a writer thanks to the efforts of our wonderful editors.  Being able to have this opportunity was amazing and I thank all of my fellow reporters and the Press Corps staff for their hard work and all of the effort everybody has been putting in to making the Gator Tribune as amazing as it is.  You’ve all done stellar jobs.

THE GatorMUN Press Corps: An Op-Ed

By: The Austrian Times

When people ask about GatorMUN, what do you tell them? What details do you include or leave out when you are talking about your committee? There are many different ways you can answer these questions because each experience is different for every person.

Being a part of the Press Corps, I was able to see how every director and delegate was experiencing GatorMUN XIII. Delegates who were part of crisis committees had to be able to come up with solutions to problems almost immediately after every crisis. Delegates were able to imagine things you would never think of and have them put into effect for the entire committee. Allies quickly form, but can just as quickly be broken. In assemblies, delegates quote statements from treaties or reports from 10-15 years ago at the drop of a hat. They debate real world topics and their decisions are probably better than some of the things we enact in the real world today.

 

As a reporter for the Press Corps, I was able to see all of these things come together. Every delegate opens up in some way, no matter what committee they are a part of. We are able to learn so many great skills that we can use when we enter the working world as adults. When you are at GatorMUN XIII, you are no longer teenagers but diplomats, journalists, kings, gods. In each committee, every person has a responsibility, whether it’s saving 300 children in Oros Olympos or delivering a resolution that will save Palestine and Israel in the GA 4–or even having a deadline at the Press Corps.

Everyone I talked to has asked me what Press Corps is about and I tell them we are the reporters of the conference, but they do not know who we really are. We are sent blind eyed into a committee session to gather information. After, we rush back and must type an article to be published that hour. We are edited by our amazing staff who gives us the best tips and suggestions to make our writing and article better. My favorite part of the day is hearing what happened in each committee and hearing about every kill, poisoning, explosion, resolution, director, or mistake that happened from my fellow reporters. Without these people and this atmosphere, I would not enjoy my experience this much. I am so glad Press Corps was a committee this year and I would not trade the experience for anything.

The Best Food on Earth and Olympus

By: Izvestia

After pushing through blistering winds and scorching deserts, followed by a long and arduous climb up mount Olympus (the journey made easier by the convenient snacks provided by FritoLay), I finally made it to Olympus, home of the gods.

Greeted by nymphs, satires, and all sorts of strange creatures, I was in search of the most important god of all. Eileithyia, Goddess of Childbirth, awaited me on top of a throne of clouds. The goddess most famous for… losing thirty pounds by eating nothing but BBQ Lay’s.

Eating foods of mortal men may be shunned upon by the Olympus community, but that didn’t stop Eileithyia from indulging on her favorite snack. “Yes, after my 4 billionth child birth I shamelessly ate BBQ Lay’s” says Eileithyia.

Eileithyia expressed her true feeling for FritoLay’s product in an exclusive interview. “BBQ Lays is the best food on this earth and should be treated as such”

Eileithyia was tired of the struggle of trying to lose weight after pregnancy, “a side affect all mortal women share with me” said Eilethyia. After her four billionth pregnancy, she came to the realization that she should stop trying to control her eating habits, rather, why not indulge on her favorite food “in all of Olympus and Earth.”

“For One Month and ten days Olympus time [earth time equivalence is a little over one hundred years] I ate nothing but BBQ lays” states Eilethyia with her head held high, eyes glimmering with passion and honor over successfully pulling off this amazing feat.

“The smell of BBQ Lays attracted many gods, acting as an amazingly effective perfume.” gloated Eileithyia. “But the most amazing thing BBQ Lay’s could have done for me, it helped me lose thirty pounds!” she exclaimed in excitement. “It was like a gift from… well, us.”

“Thanks to BBQ Lay’s, I was finally able to do what i’ve tried so hard to do for several millennia. I finally found a method to help mortal women lose weight after pregnancy!” the Goddess said with a glimmer of excitement.

“In fact, I was so happy during that month, that I gave a gift to the mortal women… I allowed women to experience birth without any pains [a power in her domain]” gloated the goddess. “Many mortal women have praised me for my choice of eating BBQ Lay’s and I myself am glad I did.

“I, Eileithyia, daughter of Hera and Zeus, support FritoLay and suggest all post pregnant women should eat BBQ Lay’s in order to finally lose weight with ease.”

A Weekend Being Press At GatorMUN: An Op-Ed

By: The Guardian

Before this weekend, I had no interest in becoming a reporter at all. I was thrust into my position in late December and, being a first-year delegate, could honestly say I didn’t know the first thing about reporting. My speaking skills are not as developed as many of my colleagues and I have never had to interview another person.

On Friday, I hadn’t the slightest idea what to expect. Therefore, the entirety of my trip was spent frantically going through my background guide while asking the more experienced delegates for advice which I received none of. As I arrived at the opening ceremony, I was further frightened by the number of delegates attending the event. Despite the spacious campus of the University of Florida, I felt quite cramped.

My first assignment was a report on the doings of the Council of Barbaric Leaders in the Crisis Committee. I walked in during a moderated caucus and made my way to the back of the room. I awkwardly stood there for a good 10 minutes, trying to understand what the heck was going on. One delegate was arguing for the preservation of the Germanic army while another was promoting a full deployment of troops into large Roman cities.

I tried my best to keep up but my notes were lagging far behind the argument. By this point, I had begun to admit defeat and was feeling extremely disappointed. When it was time for me to write my report, I was at a loss for words. I submitted my paper and hoped for the best. With the help of the editors, my paper changed from mediocre to successful. I am so thankful for all the work the staff has put in for me and will use what I have learned these past three days for the rest of my life.

A Weekend in the Life of the Associated Press

By: The Associated Press

It was a Friday morning, when the frustrating sound of my 6a.m. alarm clock woke me up. Mixed emotions circulated in my mind, as I finished putting my last article of clothing in my suitcase. I felt a rush of adrenaline running through my bloodstream on my way to the bus stop, while simultaneously feeling excited and anxious for my first trip to GatorMUNXIII in Gainesville, Florida.

I didn’t know what to expect when I entered the UF campus on that Friday afternoon. After all, I had only enrolled in Model UN a few months ago, attending two local conferences with my school in the duration of that time; I had hardly any experience.

My advisor handed me a yellow name badge titled, “The Associated Press,” with the sophisticated name of the “U.N. Press Corpse,” underneath. I looked around the room, and noticed that I was the only individual out of all 16 representatives from North Broward Prep to comprise of a yellow badge. Confused, but honored, I realized that my position in this conference would be significant.

Little did I know that I would be amongst 15 other intellectuals who were entailed in the most interesting position ever to established at GatorMUN. Although this was the first time GatorMUN has ever tried a Press Corps committee, us reporters did not fail to impress the Chairs and our fellow delegates with our concise, yet detailed articles about the ongoing sessions in the conference. The Press Corps kept all Crisis and GA committees updated on the most recent news through live tweeting and the Gator Tribune- the newspaper which contained all of our published articles.

As I walked into the room Matherly 5 on Friday night, I was handed a notebook, committee name, room number, and was told to get to work on my first assignment. I entered my first crisis committee, Bleeding Kansas where a group of abolitionists debated over different methods to make Kansas a free slave state. As the motion for an unmoderated caucus was passed, I jumped on my first opportunity to interview the delegates. I left the room, feeling extremely successful on the information I have gained, and was ready to start writing my first article for the Gator Tribune.

The next morning, our Chair handed us a printed edition of the Gator Tribune that contained the five, best written articles from the first session. To my disbelief, the article written about Bleeding Kansas was located on the first page of the copy. I have never felt that proud or accomplished in my whole life.

On Saturday, I was assigned to report on the Council of the Barbarian Leaders, Commission on the Status of Women, and the United States Security Council. Today, I chose to report on the European Union. I was extremely interested in the debate about whether to kick Greece out of the European Union or not. It’s amazing how much I have learned from the five committees I have attended and the numerous delegates I have interviewed.

I felt beyond passionate about my position as the Associated Press and applied 100% effort into the five articles I have written over the past weekend. I have learned how to work quick on my feet, and write an article in a matter of 30 minutes. I have learned how to take a completely uninteresting topic, and create something greatly intriguing about it. I have learned how to push my way through the crowd in order to interview an extremely involved delegate, who had no interest in taking their momentous unmoderated caucus time to give me a quote. I have grown, as a writer, as an editor, as a reporter, and most prominently as a person from the past three days I have had, been involved in GatorMUN 2016.

I can only hope for the future, that GatorMUN continues to include a Press Corps committee, so that I could be lucky enough to repeat this incredible experience next year. This past conference is one that I will never forget, and although it is coming to an end, I will always carry the legacy and role of the AP in my heart.

An Idea That Changed The World: An Op-Ed

By: The Budapest Times

After covering a bloody conflict over new American territory, a war with the Roman Empire, a war with Nazis, and a war between the axis and central powers, I’ve developed an understanding of the dealings in our vastly complex, interconnected world. After all this time, I have come to realize that the only thing that drives the world, sparks war, creates jobs, develops economies, and even starts revolutions is a simple object: cheetos.

As a reader, one may truly be surprised by this. It may seem that World War II was simply a battle between Allied and Axis powers, sparked by the interconnecting alliances of Austria-Hungary and the Kingdom of Serbia. When the Nazi party chased an “immaculate German empire,” one may understandably assume that the struggle occurred because democracy was threatened, human rights were violated, and international laws were ruthlessly broken. However, that is not the case. In fact, after further investigation, it became clear that the sole driving force of both sides of the battle was in fact cheetos. When the Allied powers were finally united, it was over a bag of hot Cheetos. But that’s not all.

Littered throughout American history are events driven by these magical sticks of cheesy, sometimes baked, ingredients that are still difficult to describe or understand. In fact, the diseases caused by the excessive consumption of such a snack were the topics of discussion that often occurred in their very presence. These discussions were even addressed by presidents, who often reference them in speeches. In fact, in John F. Kennedy’s original inaugural address, he originally wrote, “Ask not how your cheetos can serve you, ask how you can serve your cheetos.”

In the totality of the world, Cheetos has been a dominant force of life. As they have driven every major historical event in our world, Cheetos are invaluable. As future poet laureate and future president DJ Khaled will likely concur, the key to success is Cheetos.

For The Love Of Press: An Op-Ed

By: Xinhua News Agency

Walking into the room on Friday night, I did not know what to expect.  Would we sit around writing one article a day or would it be unorganized and free-range?  To be honest, I was thinking it would be a combination of both.

Fortunately, I was 100% wrong.

I sat down in the front row at the small desk with my placard resting on top.  I set my bag down, took out my laptop and pen, and waited.  Moments later, the person who elevated and shaped this committee began speaking.  Caitie’s positive attitude and genuine passion for journalism has influenced all of us writers, encouraged us to search for new perspectives, and think on our feet.

At the beginning of each session I was given my assignment and made my way to the designated committee where I was generously welcomed to write and photograph.  I was able to easily approach delegates and staff to get quotes and background material which made my writing sophisticated and thorough.

After each reporting session, I headed back to the news room to begin writing.  There were six editors available to help whenever I got stuck and read over my drafts before publication.  They were approachable, helpful, and with out a doubt qualified for the job.

The one thing I questioned was if anyone would actually read the Gator Tribune.  After talking to a member of the crisis staff my hesitations were allayed.  She said, “We thought it was really interesting that everyone was getting an update on everyone else’s crises and it’s really hilarious.”

Overall, reporting for the Xinhua News Agency and Press Corps is by far my favorite committee I have been on during my high school model united nations experience.  Leaving here, my confidence in writing, quick thinking, and approaching others has radically increased.  

 

What Do You Call A Gator In A Vest? An Op-Ed

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 4.31.58 PM

Caption: Two reporters post great interviews.

By: La Republica

The simple answer is an investigator, but there’s a lot more to it than just gathering information from committees.

About one month ago, I was told that I have been transferred from Grimm to the Press Corps. At first, I was not sure what to think of it since I knew nothing about it. In fact, I knew very little until after the first session. I noticed that the pre-conference assignment was different from what I had experienced in the previous year’s crisis committee, as I chose a committee to write about.

This became more prevalent, as I sat down in the committee room and was briefed on how the system worked. It was very strange for me to walk into other rooms and ask people questions, take photos, and implement social media into the reports. Nevertheless, it was a very interesting experience, and once I got into the rhythm of the sessions they became something that I looked forward to rather than worrying about how I could pull it off.

To add to that, it gave me an experience that I value. Not only was I able to work on my writing skills, but I also got the chance to talk to several people and see how several different committees ran. It gave me the samples that I needed to understand what was going on in various places, and I enjoyed watching them while reporting.

On that note, the parts of the session that were in my own committee were also just as wonderful. The people that I worked around were very nice. While it is slightly competitive, it was not like the crisis committee I had last year where people would betray one another in order to get the upper hand. This committee is full of reporters that have good sport to say the least.

The articles that my fellow news writers have created are phenomenal, each writer having a different perspective on the same committee. While my articles may not compare to theirs, I still enjoyed the experience, and I am delighted to hear from my editors that my writing has improved since the beginning of GatorMUN. I remember what the guest speaker said, how it is not about the rewards and recognition, but other things that can be done. For me, it was being able to experience many committees and improve my ability to write.

I have learned that being an investigator is more than simply going to other committees and reporting what happens. It’s about meeting new people and sharing the experience with others who could not be wherever I reported from.

I would like to thank everyone who helped make this experience possible, including my family, my school, my editors, and UF staff. I’m glad to be given this special assignment and express myself.

It has been a wonderful weekend, one that I will not forget.

Started from the Bottom, Now We’re Here: An Op-Ed

By: The New York Times

When I accepted the invitation to attend my first Model United Nations conference, I had no idea what I was getting into. In fact, I had never even heard of “MUN.” Three years later, I could not imagine a better last conference to attend than GatorMUN XIII. Even though I have been a delegate for three years, I had never ventured into the world of “crisis committees.” Last year, most of my friends who attended GatorMUN tried their very first crisis committee and fell in love with them.

As this year’s GatorMUN is my last high school MUN conference, I thought it would be fun to try a different kind of committee. Press Corps appealed to me for a number of reasons. It was different than the other committees and was new to GatorMUN, so I anticipated that we would all be learning together. I also love writing and believe that conveying a story is a critical skill. After our first committee session on Friday night, I was bubbling with excitement. While my fellow delegates were tired and relieved to be released from committee, I was ready for my next assignment. I loved being able to sit in on other committees and listen as their plans unfolded. The next morning, with an extra large Krispy Kreme coffee in one hand and my laptop in the other, I had never been more excited to be a functioning human being before 9 a.m.

In all honesty, the first couple of sessions I attended left me a little discouraged. Though I was having fun and learning writing tips, it was clear to me that I was unlike the other delegates in the committee who are esteemed school newspaper and yearbook editors or future journalists. I had writing experience, but not nearly as much as they did and next year I will be majoring in psychology, not journalism or telecommunications. In feedback sessions, my editors told me my articles were great, yet they continually chose not to publish them.

As someone who is dedicated to personal success and self-improvement, I finally confronted my chief editor, Caitie, about how I was feeling. It’s not that I felt like my editors did not like me, I just felt as if I needed more feedback so my writing could achieve its full potential. Caitie was more than happy to help me and after talking to her, I was feeling much better.

Now, as I sit here in our last committee session reminiscing on both this conference and my Model United Nations experience as a whole, I am thankful for all of the Model UN staff members and advisors who have the passion to foster diplomatic skills in their delegates. I have gained so many valuable lessons and skills from my experience in the Press Corps and Model United Nations as a whole, the most important of these skills being confidence. I am beyond excited to use the skills and new found confidence I have built through my MUN experiences.