Everyone has had those times when they have felt that they have been robbed in a committee. Either from having some power hungry delegates in your bloc or the chair not recognizing you.
From chairing 2 conferences in the past I’ve made plenty of mistakes but learned from it. So here’s my best tips to help you to not screw over your committee and be the best chair you can be.
- Walk Around in Committee
In most of my conferences I’ve been in large committees, but time and time again I’ve experienced the situation in which the chair is so absorbed in the moderated caucus yet ignores the unmoderated caucus. Most memorable experience would be during DISEC, I was the leader of the largest bloc in the “back room” yet the chairs didn’t move from their seat. This isn’t something that delegates should have a problem with.
A quick fix would be simply to walk around during unmoderated caucus’ and take note of the leaders of each bloc and who is holding the paper/laptop. Quick notes can really help show who is going past the speeches in the mod and taking the extra step when judging the unmod. The mod is only one-half of the debate. It is crucial to take note of the other half and judge it.
- Pay attention to the back of the committee
Sometimes there will be conferences in which for one reason or another, you don’t show up on time and you can’t get that favorable of a seat. This can be due to unforeseen circumstances but I’ve experienced this before and it’s a horrible feeling. The chairs would completely disregard be just because they couldn’t properly see me and that was a horrible feeling. The people who get put in the back of the committee room aren’t always the lazy people in committee, yet those who want to succeed but had an unfortunate circumstance.
As a chair, it’s crucial that you look at the back of committee room equally to how often you look at the front of the committee room. This way everyone’s voices can be heard equally. There can be hidden gems in the back of the room but you would never know if you don’t look towards the rear. Those who just hurry up shouldn’t have a natural advantage to those who show up later.
- Be a Human
Just because you are a chair, it doesn’t mean you need to act superior to those in committee. Remember that more than not, you were one of those students on the committee floor. It’s important to realize that they are just fellow students and that you should be aware of how they are feeling. Ex. Being aware of key stresses that come with public speaking or being mindful that a key detail might have been missed due to human error. If someone asks a question, just answer it politely and confidently or if someone is confused just try to help them out. They may not succeed in this conference but it can help them a lot for other conferences.
Whenever I teach others how to chair, it’s important to realize the golden rule. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Don’t be known as the chair who is harsh, or favorable, or unfair. Try to remain as impartial and fair as possible.
Doing these steps can result in a successfully run conference and I wish you all luck!
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at [email protected]