The Great Lakes Invitational Conference Association is dedicated to putting on conferences to expand global understanding in the minds of today’s youth. Our conferences provide high school students with a chance to experience a unique simulation of diplomacy and compromise in action. Participation calls upon students to confront numerous topics foremost in the international community, and attempt to resolve issues that are far outside their own personal experiences. In addition to learning substantive content regarding the agenda topics, students improve a variety of skills including research, writing, public speaking, consensus building, negotiation, teamwork, and objective critical thinking. We hope that by giving these students hands-on experience in these areas, they can grow to become more mature, responsible leaders for the future.
The Model United Nation experience provides a rare opportunity for high school students to engage in high-level synthesis and evaluation of the topics. Students become much more aware of national and international politics and current events. While engaged in the process, they are achieving core objectives in the Social Studies Curriculum, and also improve understanding in the sciences, particularly ecology, and English Language Arts competencies.
Not all Model UN Conferences are alike. One of GLICA's biggest assets is its large and long-standing volunteer staff. Unlike many college-sponsored conferences, GLICA staff volunteer for many years beyond their college years, sometimes for several decades. The steady service of the staff members provides continuity to our process, and allows delegates to interact with experienced educators in committee.
At GLICA we use a very delegate-centered approach in our sessions. Our goal is to have students direct the flow of their committee work in the most democratic method possible. Our rules of parliamentary procedure are intended to be a tool for the delegates to use to make decisions about how to proceed on the topics. Some committees opt to use the rules rigorously to enact their policies, other committees elect to consensus build, and use the rules only to take action on working papers. Regardless of the committee, the rules are for the delegates to use, not a tool for the staff to control the flow of the work.
Since we use a delegate-centered approach, committee staff is there to referee the discussion and keep the delegates engaged and working. Our committee staff is quite experienced, the average chairperson having staffed committees for three or four years before leading a committee. Chairpersons and Legal Counsels not only usher the committee procedurally, they assist delegates in revising working papers to improve their writing skills. Chairpersons and Rapporteurs also are shepherds of the topics, guiding the delegates to explore the various facets of the issues, and engage in in-depth discourse.
Our conferences are hosted at luxurious facilities that provide delegates and advisors a comfortable work space, as well as fine sleeping accommodations, and relaxing recreational opportunities. GLICA seeks conference sites that are convenient drives to keep transportation costs at a minimum. We also look for safe, positive host communities that offer affordable, yet fine dining and shopping opportunities. We also aim to partner with conference centers that attempt to draw vital business into downtown locations, so the local economy can continue to thrive.
GLIMUN is the Right Time of the Year for Your Program
GLIMUN is a four day simulation of a single session of the United Nations. Scheduled in November, GLIMUN is early in the MUN conference year, which makes it ideal to introduce first-time delegates to the MUN experience, or get your experienced delegates into full swing for the busy spring conference months! Our committees are an appropriate mix to get your delegates, both novice and experienced, revved up for the rest of the year.
GLIMUN is the Right Size for You
Unlike some of the other regional and national conferences offered throughout the conference year, GLIMUN is the ideal size for delegates of varied skill levels. We keep our GA committees at about 70 delegates, and ECOSOC committees at about 40 delegates. Our goal is to create committees that are large enough to provide divergent ideas in each committee, but not so large that delegates have little chance to actually be recognized on the general speakers' list.
We at GLICA know that advisors need to be able to assess each of their delegates on their level of participation, preparation, and skill. GLIMUN committees are intentionally sized so that advisors can actually observe delegates in action, both in caucus and formal debate. They are also the right size for our committee staff to observe delegate participation and interact with advisors, which provides advisors with additional feedback on student participation. Our staff follows a "no wallflowers" approach; we won't allow delegates to sit in their seats and not participate.
GLIMUN is a four day conference, beginning on Wednesday evening and completing on Saturday afternoon. From Opening Session through Closing Session, delegates are at the forefront of our sessions. We begin with delegation speeches and wrap-up with our prestigious Best Delegation Awards.
Delegates work individually in committee Wednesday night through Friday morning to discuss their individual committee agendas. During this step, delegates work to write and pass resolutions. Resolutions that are passed by majority vote are then reported to a full plenary sessions of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council.
Full Plenary Session
Friday afternoon and Saturday, delegates meet in delegations in our full Plenary sessions. Here, delegates must work as teams within their delegations to revise and refine the committee resolutions. The Plenary sessions typically become a furious floor fight between different policy blocs, as different coalitions attempt to persuade the full assembly to adopt their policy goals.
Our agenda offers a wide range of political, economic, social and legal topics. Typically we offer:
- 3 General Assembly Committees
- Political Committee
- Special Political Committee
- Legal or Social, Cultural and Humanitarian Committee
- 3 Economic and Social Council Committees
- Human Rights Commission
- Social and Economic Committee
- Environmental or Health Committee
- Security Council
Based upon demand we also offer specialty experiences such as:
- International Court of Justice
- Two-Delegate teams argue a case of international law against another team before a panel of three justices in a full Socratic method simulation.
- Ad-hoc Topics for Security Council
- Council delegates are given a broad topic, such as "Narcotics trafficking and international terrorism," and at conference are presented with a dossier that presents a specific situation that requires resolution.
Other Offerings and Considerations
- We offer a library on-site so that delegates can get on-the-fly information to respond to debate.
- Delegate coaching is available; we provide access to staff to assist delegates in developing strategy in committee, and learning how to manipulate rules to their advantage.
- We offer social time on several evenings to allow delegates to enjoy the facility and socialize in an age-appropriate environment.
- Our staff will gladly make school visits to assist in conference preparation.
- Topic overviews and web-based wikis so that delegates may share research and resources.
- On-line position paper submission, which allows delegates to read other delegates' posted statements so that they may anticipate debate.