What is a Model United Nations?
A Model United Nations, or "MUN", is a simulation of the United Nations and other international bodies intended to provide a forum for debate on world issues. Students represent delegates from UN member-States, debating relevant topics and negotiating resolutions. The format and procedure of MUN assemblies like SOMA are modeled on that of the United Nations, as are the topics discussed—with subjects including peace and security, the environment, economic development, human rights, and international law.
Why should I participate in SOMA?
MUNs provide a unique opportunity for students to learn about international relations and, more specifically, about the functions and role of the United Nations in world affairs. MUNs broaden awareness and knowledge of global issues, and allow participants to hone public speaking and debating skills. No prior experience is necessary to be a MUN delegate, only an interest in the world around you!
How can I register for SOMA?
Applications for SOMA are released in October. The faculty advisor from each school must complete a school registration form, and all students approved by the advisor must complete a delegate application. Applications are evaluated, and if accepted, delegates receive their country assignments in January.
Is SOMA only for students in Southern Ontario?
Absolutely not! The conference has hosted high-school students from across Canada and the United States, as well as from several foreign countries.
Is SOMA open to university students?
No, SOMA is a conference specifically targeted at high-school students. Per SOMA’s constitution, SOMA also limits itself to delegates aged 21 or younger at the time of the conference, regardless of whether or not they are enrolled in a secondary school.
What do I do if I'm not from Toronto?
After being accepted to SOMA, you can use our discount code at the downtown Toronto Double Tree Hotel. Visit the Venues & Hotel page for more information.
Can I come if I've never been to a model UN?
Yes, SOMA welcomes new participants.
Who should I make my delegation fee cheque out to?
All cheques should be made out in Canadian dollars to "Southern Ontario Model United Nations Assembly". SOMA encourages staff advisors to send one cheque per school to expedite processing and reimbursement.
What is the role of the staff advisor?
The staff advisor for each school's delegation to SOMA is responsible for completing the school registration form and keeping their students updated with any information sent out by the Secretariat. Advisors also ensure that delegates respect due dates for applications and position papers. Finally, during the conference itself, staff advisors may be contacted in the event of any issues concerning a school’s delegation. Each school must be accompanied by a staff advisor when they attend the conference, who supervises throughout the duration and acts as a chaperone for their students at the banquet.
What is the dress code?
The dress code for the conference is Western business attire or the national costume of the country being represented, provided that it is appropriate; as we have found that more formal dress adds a great deal to the tone of the conference, this code applies to both students and staff advisors. Examples of appropriate attire for males include dress shirts, ties, and suits; for females, blouses, dress pants, and skirts of a reasonable length. The dress code applies to Opening and Closing Ceremonies as well as in committees.
How formal is the banquet?
The banquet is considered "semi-formal"; appropriate attire would include cocktail-length dresses, skirts or business attire.
Does SOMA offer delegate awards?
Yes, SOMA provides three awards per committee to delegates who distinguish themselves during debate. Awards are decided on by the committee Chairs, who evaluate delegates on speaking style, diplomacy, adherence to foreign policy and other factors.
After I've been accepted into SOMA, is there anything I am required to do in preparation for the conference?
Yes! SOMA asks all delegations to write position papers for their assigned country so that they are able to reflect that nation's foreign policy during SOMA debates. As well, delegates should read all of the background guides for the committees they are attending. It is often helpful to print the guides and bring them to the conference as reference materials during committee.