What is SSUNS?
Secondary Schools’ United Nations Symposium (SSUNS) is Canada’s largest high-school level Model United Nations conference, hosting over 1300 students every November in downtown Montreal. For over 25 years, SSUNS has been organized by students from McGill University, Canada’s #1 university according to the QS 2017 University Rankings. With over 26 committees, including two bilingual committees and one francophone committee, SSUNS offers a wide variety of interesting and appealing topics.
When is SSUNS 2018 and where is it Located?
SSUNS 2018 will take place from Thursday, November 22nd to Sunday, November 25th, 2018, with Registration taking place between 10 AM and 5 PM on the Thursday, and Closing Ceremonies occurring early on Sunday morning. A sample schedule can be found here. However, late registrations/early departures can of course be arranged. The conference this year will be located at Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel, a premier 4-star hotel located centrally within downtown Montreal. The hotel is also a short walk away from McGill Campus and the VIA Rail/Greyhound/Megabus terminals; delegates will have the option to take complementary guided tours of McGill Campus or of Montreal’s beautiful Old Port on the Friday morning. More information about the variety of tourist attractions in Montreal can be found here. Delegates are highly encouraged to stay at the Sheraton using SSUNS’ discounted hotel room rates, in addition to the fact that all committee sessions and all socials will be taking place within the hotel itself.
What is Model United Nations?
In an effort to simulate the real UN, delegates are invited to partake in four days of thought-provoking and informative discussions regarding real world issues, both present and historical. Model United Nations, or MUN, allows delegates to be well-informed about contemporary world issues, and then debate said issues with others representing their respective positions during their conference. In this sense, MUN is an extremely valuable educational tool, and is often incorporated into the curriculum/syllabi of schools. Upon registration, schools will be assigned a number of characters or countries in a series of committees. In the weeks (or months) leading up to the conference, delegates will learn more about the topic (and about their assigned country’s perspective on the topics) by reading through the conference-provided Background Guide (BG) in addition to their own research. At the conference, delegates will then engage in informed debate about the issues, and work diplomatically on drafting resolutions and directives towards solving the issues at hand.
What are the different types of committees?
SSUNS, as Canada’s largest high-school level MUN conference, has over 26 committees for beginners and veterans alike. There are 3 categories of committees- a) General Assemblies and Economic and Social Councils (GAs and ECOSOCs) are large committees dealing with important issues such as nuclear disarmament, regional food security, and intellectual property rights; b) Specialized Agencies (SAs) are medium-sized committees dealing with specialized (and sometimes historical) topics, such as equality in the armed forces, and rebuilding Chilean democracy after Augusto Pinochet’s reign; c) Crisis committees are small committees/simulations also dealing with specialized issues, such as the reign of Julius Caesar, or the Cabinet of Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser.
Why should I register for SSUNS? What else does SSUNS offer?
We at SSUNS truly believe in the educational value of what we offer. Beyond the 26 committees we offer, delegates will also be able to engage in a wide variety of extra, complementary activities organized by the conference, including:
• Committee Speakers: Over the course of the four-day weekend, guest speakers may be invited to certain committees to give an informative lecture regarding the topic at hand. Last years’ notable speakers include Canadian Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS) Jennifer Loten, and the son of the ex-President of Myanmar.
• Workshop Series: During Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, delegates will have a chance to attend a variety of (optional) workshops hosted by clubs and speakers from the McGill and Montreal community. Topics include “Preparing for University”, “Human Rights Advocacy”, “Indigenous Affairs”, and “Journalism in the 21st Century”, etc.
• Tours of McGill Campus & Old-Port: Delegates will have the option to attend guided tours of McGill campus or of the historic Old-Port, on the Friday morning. The 2018 year will feature expanded tours to new locations that delegates previously did not have the chance to see.
• Delegation Networking Event & Delegate Gala: Held on the Thursday and Friday nights respectively, delegates from around the world will be able to network and socialize over complementary hotel hors d’oeuvres, while also engaging in fun activities such as our annual scavenger hunt. • Delegation Pictures • Professional Headshots • And much more! We at SSUNS 2018 have a same-day response policy to any emails sent. If you have any questions regarding the conference, our Chargé D’Affaires, Ashton, will be more than happy to answer any emails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How much does SSUNS cost and is there financial assistance available?
The prices for SSUNS registration can be found on ssuns.org/reg/. There is, of course, financial assistance available on a needs- and merits- basis. Applications for financial assistance (SSUNScholarships) will be released in late September. We additionally have travel discounts with our Travel Partners, VIARail and WestJet, in order to make travel to the conference more affordable. To take advantage of said discounts, please visit ssuns.org/travel/.
How do I register and pay for SSUNS?
In order to register for SSUNS, please fill out the registration form located at ssuns.org/form/. From there, our Chargé D’Affaires, Ashton, will be contact you with further details regarding country assignments and payment methods. In terms of payment methods, SSUNS accepts both cheques in addition to online payments via Wave. Finally, there are three registration phases- Early Bird (for the first 400 delegates who have been registered by a Faculty Advisor/professor/teacher/MUN Club head), Priority (for the first 900) and Regular (for the first 1500). In terms of refund policies, fees paid to SSUNS will be 100% reimbursable until August 31st 2018, and 50% reimbursable until October 6th, 2018. More information about payment methods and registration can be found by emailing our Chargé, Ashton, at email@example.com, or by referring to ssuns.org/ref.
I have received my committee and country/character assignment. What do I do now?
As one of your first steps, we highly recommend that you check out your committee’s background guide on our committee page that your Daises have put much effort into composing. The background guide will have outlined and explained a number of topics that you will be debating at the conference. It is helpful to know your committee’s history, current events, and other subject matter that you think will be relevant during debate. Keep in mind that it is your responsibility to thoroughly research your character or country, such as their position in terms of the topics, their allies, policies, etc. A thoroughly researched delegate is often the well-spoken delegate, as it will reflect in your speeches and interactions with your fellow delegates. Your position paper is due 8:30 P.M. on Thursday, November 22nd, 2018. More information about position paper guidelines will be posted in July 2018.
I have a question about my country/character or my committee. Who do I contact?
If you wish to clarify something about your characters, committee or information on the background guide, please contact your Chair at the respective committee’s email address. You can find the individual committee emails on our committee page, by clicking on the appropriate committee. Also don’t forget to consult the committee background guide first if you have questions about research. Most Daises have already listed Questions to Consider and Helpful Research Links as part of their background guides.
Is there a dress code?
All participants at SSUNS are required to wear full western business attire. We urge you to adhere to the dress code for all SSUNS events, such as the Opening/Closing ceremonies, committee sessions, public events, excluding the delegate social event and unless otherwise directed by your Dais. For the Delegate Gala, please use your discretion in dressing casually but appropriately. SSUNS staff reserves the right to remove delegates dressed inappropriately or offensively for the delegate social event.
Can I bring my own laptop?
Yes! Although it’s not mandatory, it is recommended that you bring your own computer to research, draft working papers, etc. outside of your committee sessions. Usage of laptops or portable electronic devices during sessions is subject to the individual discretion of Daises and it may be prohibited during selective or all committee sessions. There will be also computers available for conference-related uses such as research in our Delegate Resource Centre.
What is a position paper?
All SSUNS delegates are required to submit a position paper prior to the conference (with the exception of selective Crisis committee delegates). There is a section in your background guide for Questions to Consider and/or Helpful Links that will help you get your research started. Also don’t forget to check out our Delegate Resources page for more tips! It is a research essay detailing your country or character’s position in your committee, specifically on the topics outlined in the background guide. We urge you to avoid reiterating information already elaborated in the background guide, except for when explaining their significance to your specific character or pointing out something you wish to underscore during the committee debate. Having a well-written position paper will help you organize your research, become familiarized with your character, and enhance your delegate experience throughout the conference.
When is my position paper due?
It is due at 8:30PM on November 22nd, 2018. It is always a good idea to submit it in advance. Feel free to email your Daises any questions regarding your position paper, but allow sufficient time before the deadline to ensure you receive feedback!
How do I submit it?
Submit it to your respective committee emails as an attachment in .docx or .pdf file format.
Are there any rules??
While we do not provide specific format guidelines for individual position papers, every position paper should be written in coherence to a formal academic paper you would normally submit at your school. We urge you to use your discretion in determining the appropriate format of the paper. On another note, SSUNS has a very strict plagiarism policy. You must take care to acknowledge any ideas or information obtained from the work of others in your paper. You may check out our Delegate Resources page for more information on how to cite. Please refer to McGill University’s Code of Student Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures on Plagiarism for further clarification: Article 16. Plagiarism “Plagiarism” means the representation of another’s work, published or unpublished, as one’s own or assisting another in representing another’s work, published or unpublished, as his or her own. (a) No student shall represent another person’s work, published or unpublished, as his or her own in any academic writing […], or represent as his or her own the work of another, whether the material so represented constitutes a part or the entirety of the work submitted.
SSUNS prides itself on providing a friendly learning environment for all delegates alike. Hence each year, SSUNS wishes to acknowledge exceptional delegates and delegations who enrich the educational experience for their peer delegates and embody our theme of advocacy, peacemaking and diplomacy. We have two categories of awards as further described below: Individual Awards and Delegation Awards. All Individual Gavel Awards are given equal weight and they are not ranked in order.
Types of awards?
Nellie McClung Award for Advocacy: Presented to the Delegate that embodies the perseverance and advocacy of the Famous Five in their inspiring fight for suffrage.
Lester B. Pearson Award for Peacemaking: Presented to the delegate that embodies the tradition of "Pearson Internationalism" through leadership and civility in diplomatic conduct.
Pierre Elliot Trudeau Award for Diplomatic Finesse: Presented to the delegate that demonstrates innovative and creative policy making as well as an eloquent and persuasive manner of speech.
**All gavels are given equal ranking; there is no ranking between individual gavel awards.
SSUNS Book Award: Granted to the delegate who best embodies the spirit of Model United Nations and engages their committee in an enthusiastic and proactive role.
Honourable Mention: Awarded to the delegate who displays the most promising qualities of a rising diplomat in the making.
What is the Delegate Resouce Centre (DRC)?
Our Delegate Resource Centre (DRC) has a two-fold purpose. The first is answering any questions you or your delegates might have about SSUNS and the city of Montreal during the conference. It is open from 9:30 AM and closes with the end of the last committee session each day. The second purpose is to provide affordable merchandise to our delegates, as a souvenir of the conference. Traditionally, we have SSUNS-branded water bottles, shirts, scarves, sweaters, pens, pins and hats. The DRC is located on the 2nd floor in front of the escalator.
What do Room Blocks Mean?
In order to facilitate travel in hallways, to/from rooms, elevators and escalators before and after committee sessions during the conference, we have organized each committee into Block A or Block B. Being in Block A simply means that you will be starting your committee sessions 15 minutes earlier and end as much earlier than Block B. You can check which Block you belong to in your delegate handbook.
Is there wifi?
There will be complimentary wifi available for delegates on the Conference Level. Please refer to the PR updates at the Opening Ceremonies or visit the Delegate Resource Centre for the password. We urge you to refrain from remaining connected from several devices simultaneously in order to maintain satisfactory traffic for all attendees and staff. There is wifi in your hotel rooms as well, for which you do not need a password to access.
I lost my name tag. Where do I go?
You need your name tag for admission into any event during the conference and to receive discounts at selective partner restaurants. If you lose your name tag, check in at the Delegate Resource Centre to see if it has been turned in, or visit the Chargé Booth downstairs on Level A, in front of Salon Hémon, next to the room where Registration was conducted.
• Full Name
• School Name
• Committee Name
• Name of Position
Where is the Lost and Found?
Any lost item returned will be made available for pick up in the Delegate Resource Centre.
Who do I contact in case of an emergency?
Your faculty advisor should be your primary point of contact for all cases of emergency. If you wish to directly address the issue with the conference staff, please approach your Daises or any of our staff.