Interview of Remi Fodor, Mathieu Contamin (CSI), Awa Russel and Melanie Serre (ISL), ILYMUN Heads of Housing, 11.11.2017
Interview by Estelle Tromeur (CSI)
Press: What is your role in ILYMUN 2018?
Remi Fodor: We have to find people who are willing to house the people coming from abroad; we pair the foreign students with local students also attending the conference.
Press: How would you describe the overall goals/missions of your position in light of this year’s 2018 ILYMUN?
R.F: Making sure everyone is housed.
Mathieu Contamin: We have to get in contact with a lot of people, send out emails, or reach out to them in the halls, study the guest lists, collect surveys and pair people up.
Press: What are the main challenges in your responsibilities?
Melanie Serre: We have a set number of people to house by a certain time, and we have to make sure everyone has a place to stay.
R.F: That can be difficult at times because some people don’t wish to or can’t house, or they forget to hand in their housing sheets, and sometimes we have to be insistent.
M.C: It’s an engagement to take care of people and make sure they have somewhere to stay, which is a big responsibility. Sometimes people are reluctant to house, when really it’s a beautiful experience.
Awa Russel: At first, we doubted our ability to house such a large number of people, yet we surpassed that and were able to house everyone, which is a success in the end.
Press: What happens when the number of housing families is insufficient?
M.S: Well, telling people they can’t come isn’t one of our options, so we’ll double our effort to convince people to host, or place students in youth hostels, but then we have to pay for them so it’s really not advantageous.
Press: What are your views on this year’s paramount theme, Cities?
M.C: It’s a great theme, and Remi and I, as delegates during the conference, count on debating!
M.S: I’m excited to share ideas in the Science and Technology committee, because we’re looking at smart cities. It’s going to be interesting and is completely different to last year’s committees.
Press: How long have you participated in ILYMUN? Why is it important to you?
R.F: I did the Youth committee, then was a delegate in ECOSOC last year, and this year I’m a delegate and Head of Housing, so this is my third year. Personally, I just genuinely enjoy debating, discussing world issues, that’s what brought me into ILYMUN and got me started.
A.R: I was a delegate at HAGAMUN and a press team member last year. This year I’m a chair and Head of Housing: It’s my second year. It’s important to me because it pushes me to communicate with people; I’m kind of shy. It gives me a perspective on other people’s lives and their motivations, and it just makes it easier to make friends and communicate with others.
M.S: It’s my second year as well, but I’ve participated in MUN conferences in Thailand before that.
M.C: I was a delegate in ECOSOC last year with Remi, so it’s my second year. For me, ILYMUN is important because at school you tend to get into a routine: class, schoolwork… ILYMUN is a great way to escape this routine by diversifying your daily tasks during the preparations, and giving you a great three day experience during the conference.
Press: What is a piece of advice you would give to a new or prospective member of the organization?
M.C: House! If you house you get the best experience of ILYMUN, because it goes on even after the conference hours when you go home.
M.S: Housing is key! Think that if one day you go to an MUN conference abroad, you’ll be the one needing to be housed. Also, try and not be stressed, because when you stress you block yourself from others. If you come with an open mind, you’re bound to have fun.
A.R: House and enjoy what you’re doing.
R.F: If you’re coming from abroad, don’t be scared, have fun!