Straw Poll: Cocktail Hour Popular, Draft Resolutions Lamentably More Popular


Reporters at Agence France-Presse were surprised that the Boston Marriott Copley Place Hotel lacked its usual crowd of suit jackets and bow ties yesterday evening as the delegates of Harvard National Model United Nations 2015 chose to debut outfits that were a bit more comfortable.  In the Grand Ballroom on the fourth floor of the hotel, the conference’s annual Cocktail Hour was held with tremendous success. Agence France-Presse’s interest was nonetheless piqued by the idea of this ubiquitous party.  How many of the conference’s 3,000 delegates, for example, actually attended the boozy mingling session?  Our team of investigative reporters conducted a series of on-the-ground polls to determine the answer.

We began our investigation in the lobby of the conference hotel. Over the course of two hours, we spoke to 58 delegates and asked them each the same series of questions.  Of this total, 47 of the delegates had attended HNMUN in a previous year — a relatively high percentage —while the remaining 11 had not.  Of those who had attended in the past, we inquired what brought them back this year.  While several delegates mentioned the international dimension of the conference or the high level of debate, their responses overwhelmingly centered on the social events – the Club Night, Cocktail Hour, and Delegate Dance – where they met hoards of new friends with similar interests.

Following these questions, Agence France-Presse then asked our 58 volunteers if they had attended the Cocktail Hour yesterday evening.  To this question, a total of 36 individuals responded that yes, they had been in attendance.  Of the 36 participants, only 24 — or two-thirds of this total — reported purchasing drinks from the cash bar, which means that a significant minority of delegates — a full third — chose to attend solely for the ambiance and mingling.

The 22 volunteers who did not attend the Cocktail Hour had a variety of reasons for their non-participation.  Some delegates, especially those in larger General Assembly (GA) committees, stressed the need for working after hours to finish compiling their Draft Resolutions.  Andrew Samuel, a delegate representing Spain in the Disarmament and Security Committee, lamented that he could not attend the cocktail party because of the “long day” he had had.  “Friday is a big day for the GA committees,” he continued, “and the early session today was definitely a contributing factor.”

Delegates in SOCHUM, one of the largest GA committees, merge draft resolutions.

Alice Hong, who was representing Argentina in the same committee, agreed with Samuel, noting that “for the GAs, the real time isn’t the committee sessions – it’s five hours before and 3 hours after.” Her colleague, who wished to remain anonymous, agreed, admitting that while he was disheartened to have missed the party, he was looking forward to the upcoming social events even more as a result.  “The chairs sometimes fail to recognize that committee isn’t the only time we’re working,” he revealed, “but thankfully, we’ll always have the delegate dance.”

In total, more than 700 delegates attended yesterday evening’s Cocktail Hour at the Boston Marriott Copley Place Hotel.


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