Monday, July 2, 2012

Cut-Throat Competition

In selecting delegates for a MUN, there is one golden rule: do not be fooled by the numbers. Every MUN gets a vast number of applications, but very few of them actually intend to make good their commitments. Add to that the fact that, like most things in India, there is stiff competition between different MUNs for delegates (and the number of councils in a MUN seems to just keep rising) and you can be sure that getting delegates is the hardest part.

For IITR MUN 2012, we expected no more than 100 application, and that's why we insisted on the second committee being very small. We got 250 applications in the first round!  And above that, the applicants were behind our backs for plum appointments: the going seemed good. I can recall many, but I will mention two: TJ, a Law student, and DK, a desperate engineering fresher.

Now, TJ was the perfect applicant: she fretted about her application being on time, she called several times, she begged for great allotments (we gave her UK - a plum post indeed!), we obliged her by lowering that allotment (to Italy). She, in turn, kept calling us and even proved that she had booked her train by sending us the PNR Number. And then, after second allotments, we discover that she and her friend cancelled on us. We normally took cancellations with a pinch of salt - we knew that they happen - but this was different. It was outrageous. We called her and asked for an explanation and what we got was shocking -some dumb story of being hacked and followed. "My life is in danger" - this bitch clearly saw too many TV serials. We were disgusted, but had to move on.

DK was the opposite - his application was so poor that we rejected it outright in our points scheme. But he was adamant - two phone calls a day, a scandalous wall post and several e-mails. We wondered why he wanted to come - we got the standard answer. "Oh it's an IIT, so big and great" and trash like that. But we had grown desperate, so we finally gave him an allotment. Finally, of course, is two days before the event! But he did come - by whatever means, with his senior and without following the rules strictly, he did show up, he did participate and he did not cause us any more trouble.

These are two tales from either side - the good and the ugly. Everything else lay in between. Is this MUN system maintainable at this rate? I don't think so - but at least ours went well. Others, like VIT or ITM, weren't as lucky.

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