IMUNA – NHSMUN 2018: Disappointing Experience
My name is Jason and I am a US History Teacher and form UN Faculty Advisor at my school. After attending the National High School form United Nations for over 6 years I am really thinking about considering other options. NHSMUN 2018 was a completely different story compared to the past editions: the numbers were reduced in half the GA was half empty and the logistics was terrible. My students and I had to wait over two hours to get inside the UN and were lining up since 6:30 AM! I understand that there are security regulations that must be met when entering the UN HQ, but it could have been managed in a better way.
At the end, we spent more time waiting outside than inside the GA Hall. Furthermore, they claim to be the “world’s largest form UN Conference, with hundreds of schools and thousands of delegates attending from around the world”, when clearly the conference that was taking place at the same time on Saturday had twice the amount of delegates, and had the committee the UN for the complete day instead of 30 minutes, the time my students and I spent. When it comes to internationality the conference had basically all Americans with a few Italians that couldn’t already speak English and were slowing down the work in the committees.
Now let’s talk about the fees. Although I do understand that there are tremendous costs behind these kind of conferences, by doing a small research you will find out that there are conferences out here that either charge a very small fee like 30 USD such as GCMUN, or offer over 1500 scholarships including housing financial aid like FWWMUN.
Without mentioning the ridiculous and disproportionate accommodation rates offered by IMUNA (379 USD plus taxes when the same room is obtainable on Booking.com at 250 USD taxes included) and the non-sense penalty fee in case you choose to stay in a different hotel, without allowing the participants to choose a cheaper option. IMUNA pretends to be a not-for-profit organization, but appears apparent the dear Max and Hannah Ross are becoming Millionaires on our shoulders.
All in all, NHSMUN-IMUNA do not mirror the values they advertise, they are profit seekers and there are better and more affordable options in NYC that I strongly encourage you to consider and analyze. Keep doing MUN and see you at the next conference around the world!