As a delegate at SOMA, you will be assigned a country to represent on one of our 12 committees available at this year’s conference. Your goal is to represent your nation as realistically as possible on the committee you are attending, mimicking the work undertaken each day by delegates to the United Nations and other organizations. Through discussion, diplomacy, and consensus, you will try to advance your nation’s interests while negotiating on world issues.
To prepare for SOMA, you should inform yourself as completely as possible on your country’s positions with respect to the topics being discussed in your committee. Other delegates will hold you accountable for statements you make, so you should be ready to give
concrete evidence of your country’s positions. You should also be aware of the various stakeholders in the issues being discussed, so that you can anticipate their responses to your ideas and work proactively to assuage their concerns.
Your attitude toward the nation that you represent is especially important. A truly successful assembly can transcend the limitation of reality to a surprisingly dramatic degree. It does not matter which country you have been assigned; the founding notion of the United Nations is that every nation has an equal voice and this has been demonstrated beyond question at previous SOMAs. For a few days you become an intelligent, patriotic, and knowledgeable UN delegate. Your attitude is the primary source of an interesting and entertaining assembly.
In order to preserve the decorum of the Assembly, all delegates are required to dress in western business attire, or in tasteful and appropriate national dress of their country. Otherwise, they will not be admitted to committee. Semi-formal attire is required for the banquet: this includes cocktail-length dresses, skirts and/or business suits.
You must be fully aware of your country’s foreign policy; without it you cannot give your country proper diplomatic representation and the assembly will suffer as a result. Under the rules of SOMA, you may be called to account if any other delegate feels you have seriously breached your foreign policy.
Your ability to function in committee will be determined in large part by your familiarity with SOMA's rules of procedure. Please see our quick guide to the rules of procedure or the complete rules of procedure and review these documents prior to the conference in order to best prepare yourself for SOMA.
It is very important that you wear your delegate badge at all times. You will not be allowed into any assembly of the closing banquet without it. If you lose your badge, please advise the Chair at once.
Conference staff known as Pages will be responsible for relaying written messages between delegates and from delegates to the Chair. This system is a privilege intended to reduce the amount of movement within the assemblies and to allow delegates in different assemblies to communicate with each other. If the Pages find that delegates are using the system inappropriately, those delegates will lose this privilege.
Conference staff known as Security members will be responsible for keeping order, decorum, and enforcing security rules. No person shall be allowed to enter any assembly without a SOMA identification badge. Security members may be asked to escort disorderly delegates from the Assembly, at the discretion of the Chairperson or any member of the Secretariat. This will be accompanied by contact with your staff advisor detailing the occurrence.
Attendance will be taken at all committee sessions through a roll call at the beginning of each session. Attendance lists will be made available to faculty advisors by request, and absences may be reported to schools at the discretion of the Secretariat. It is vital that all delegates be in attendance during the entire course of the conference.