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NMUN Policies and Codes of Conduct

Professionalism in speech, actions, and appearance by all participants (Delegates, Head Delegates, Faculty, Team Leaders, Guests, Secretariat, Staff, and Board Members) is a requirement of all NMUN conferences, and necessary to our educational mission. These guidelines are provided to help establish clear expectations.

  • Attendees who disrupt committee sessions or create problems in the hotel or other facilities may be barred from further participation in any NMUN conference.
  • Attendees are encouraged to enjoy the variety of activities available at our conference venues. Please bear in mind, however, that the purpose of being here is participation in NMUN, and failure to attend designated sessions may result in your withdrawal from the conference.
  • Attendees are prohibited from possessing or using illicit drugs at all times. Alcohol is not allowed in any of our committee sessions. If you are going to drink, please drink responsibly. Excessive alcohol consumption should be avoided. The US legal drinking age is 21. Any issues related to illicit drugs may be directed to the attention of local authorities.

Please open the sections below to review other policies such as sexual harassment and dress code which apply to all attendees, as well as additional expectations by participant type.

Sexual Harassment & Discrimination Policy

Our intention is to create an environment at National Model United Nations that supports our educational mission. We will not tolerate any instances of sexual harassment or discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, or disability.

If any delegate, faculty advisor, team leader, guest, or volunteer believes they have encountered sexual harassment or discrimination, which results in a hostile working environment or disparate treatment, they must bring it to the attention of the Secretary-General of the conference. In the event that this is not possible, they must bring it to the attention of the organizers. We will investigate the merits of the allegations, interviewing all parties involved.

Based on the findings of the investigation, NMUN may:
• take no action
• issue a verbal reprimand
• separate the individual from the conference
• implement any other action deemed appropriate

Dress Code

All clothing must adhere to guidelines that portray professionalism and modesty. If a delegate’s attire is deemed inappropriate by NMUN staff, the delegate will be asked to leave the session and return with appropriate attire.

• Standard delegate attire for the conference is business jacket, slacks/skirt, dress shirt (with tie for men) and dress shoes.
• Dress sweaters, shorts, ball caps, jeans, sneakers, and sunglasses are considered too casual. Clothes that expose excessive bare skin, reveal undergarments, or are otherwise revealing are inappropriate.
• It is not appropriate for delegates to display any national symbols such as flags, pins, crests, etc. on their person during sessions. UN symbols are acceptable.
• Western business dress is preferred. Traditional dress is only permitted for international delegates in whose native countries professional business dress includes traditional cultural dress. NMUN will not tolerate any delegate’s attempt to portray a “character” using traditional cultural attire as a costume.

Faculty advisors/team leaders, guests, and volunteer staff serve as role models for delegates. Thus they are required to dress in western business attire while participating in scheduled conference sessions.


While participating in the National Model UN conference, delegates have a responsibility to always maintain the highest level of professionalism and diplomacy. Conference staff, faculty advisors, fellow delegates, speakers, as well as non-NMUN hotel guests should be treated with the highest level of courtesy and respect, including on social media and in electronic communications. Professionalism in speech, actions, and appearance by delegates is a requirement of this conference, and necessary to its educational mission. It is expected that all delegates will respect the property of the United Nations, our host hotels, and any other facilities used by our conferences.

NMUN reserves the right to restrict future registration for any participant or school whose delegates or faculty advisors are not able to uphold their responsibility to the conference’s code of conduct.

Delegates are expected to:
• Remain “in character” by consistently advocating the interests and representing the policies of the country assigned. To act “in character” also entails displaying respect for the opinions and ideas of fellow delegates, even if these opinions and ideas conflict with a given delegate’s own country's priorities.
• Collaborate with fellow delegates when possible.
• Be courteous and professional at all times, including on social media and in electronic communications.
• Attend all committee sessions.
• Avoid the consumption of alcohol and other drugs in committee sessions. Any issues related to illicit drugs may be directed to the attention of local authorities.


Delegates who disrupt committee sessions or create problems in the hotel or other facilities may be barred from further participation in the conference.

Delegates are encouraged to enjoy the variety of activities available at our conference venues. Please bear in mind, however, that the purpose of being here is participation in NMUN, and failure to attend committee sessions may result in your withdrawal from the conference.

If you are going to drink, please drink responsibly. Excessive alcohol consumption should be avoided. The US legal drinking age is 21.


The role of faculty advisors, while at the conference, is to make all efforts to see that their students maintain a positive and professional approach to the conference. The educational quality of the conference is primarily dependent on the active and professional participation of all delegates. Faculty advisors can ensure this by monitoring the attendance at committee meetings by their students and helping them understand the skills of diplomacy as practiced at National Model United Nations. Faculty advisors must maintain the highest level of professionalism toward all conference participants and staff.

During the conference, faculty advisors are encouraged to advise students on specific questions such as a Member State’s policy or issues of international law, but must not participate in the actual writing of resolutions or caucusing activities. NMUN allows students an opportunity to demonstrate their preparation and research skills. While faculty advisors are encouraged to quietly observe their students from the back of committee rooms, participation in the committee process must be left to the student delegates and the conference staff

Faculty advisors are expected to:

• Provide leadership to their delegates and to other delegations by serving as information resources when appropriate.
• Respond to questions and concerns without interfering with the work of the committees or the deliberations of delegates, whether in formal session or in caucus.
• Refrain from using academic credit and grading policies that force participation beyond that country’s normal position in the UN.
• Remind their delegates of the educational purpose of the simulation. Awards should not be a delegation’s main emphasis.
• Attend and participate in faculty advisors meetings.
• Offer suggestions and assistance to new faculty advisors.

Head Delegates

Head delegates provide leadership to their delegates and to other delegations by serving as information resources. They should attend and participate in head delegates meetings. Head delegates may be assigned to a committee or may serve solely in an advisory role. Head delegates assigned to a committee should observe the delegate code of conduct. Those not assigned to a particular committee should interact with delegates as would a faculty advisor.


A category for participants at some NMUN conferences is registered guest. Delegations are limited to no more than three guests. Guests serve as observers. They cannot be enrolled college students or faculty advisors and do not provide any support to a delegation. A guest is typically a school official, spouse/partner of a faculty advisor or a funder who is interested in gaining exposure to NMUN as an observer of the conference. Guests are required to uphold the same Codes of Conduct as all other conference attendees.


Delegates are encouraged to enjoy the variety of activities available at our venues. Please bear in mind, however, the purpose of being here is participation in NMUN and failure to attend committee sessions may result in your withdrawal from the conference.

To protect the reputations of the Conference, its sponsor organization the National Collegiate Conference Association (NCCA), and participating schools and delegates, NMUN has devised the following system for addressing alleged Code of Conduct violations after soliciting feedback from faculty advisors. The system is modeled on international football (U.S. soccer) where warnings (yellow cards) are issued for minor infractions and continued infractions or more serious allegations may result in investigations leading to ejection (red cards).

Concerns about individual behavior in committee shall be addressed to the volunteer staff in committee. Faculty or head delegates may also bring larger concerns to conference service staff who can contact the conference Secretary-General or Deputy Secretary-General. We will not tolerates offensive behavior by delegates, e.g., partying in rooms, hallways, or staircases; loud, crude, and obnoxious talk/behavior, etc. Concerns about noise or behavior outside committees that disturbs other hotel guests will be referred by the hotel to security hired by NMUN and responded to according to the policies below.

A. Moderate Misbehavior
1. Minor violations of the Code of Conduct, such as excessive noise or undiplomatic behavior, shall be considered moderate misbehavior and eligible for a Yellow Card warning.

2. In the event that a complaint regarding moderate misbehavior is brought to the attention of hotel staff they shall notify the appropriate guest(s) of the nature of the complaint and inform the designated NCCA official. This notification shall serve as a warning.

3. If the moderate misbehavior persists then the designated NCCA official shall contact the designated faculty advisor from the school involved and take appropriate action, including the issuance of a Yellow Card.

4. A Yellow Card shall result in the deduction of award points and serve as a warning that repeated inappropriate behavior shall result in a declaration of ineligibility for any Conference award.

5. If the inappropriate behavior continues or recurs on a subsequent day the hotel shall notify the designated NCCA official who may furnish the hotel with the contact information for the Dean of Student Affairs or other appropriate official of the organization in question. Should the hotel notify the designated NCCA official of such an action then the delegation involved shall immediately be disqualified from receiving an award.

6. The hotel may also issue fines. Our New York conference hotels require all guests to agree to stiff fines and penalties for noise and common courtesy violations.

B. Serious Misbehavior
1. In the event of serious misbehavior, behavior rising to a level where eviction is appropriate such as criminal misbehavior, the hotel shall notify the designated NCCA official immediately and possibly law enforcement, as appropriate.

2. The designated NCCA official(s) shall immediately notify the delegation’s designated faculty advisor of the nature of the misbehavior and  inform them that unless the allegation is disproved, the Dean of Student Affairs or other appropriate official will be notified and a Red Card issued.

3. Any delegate who receives a Red Card must depart the Conference within four hours except if the misbehavior takes place after 6:00 pm in which case the delegate must depart by 9:00 am the following day. The reason for your dismissal may be reported to your school.

The issuance of a Red Card shall result in the immediate disqualification of the delegation from eligibility for any Conference award and the possible suspension of participation in the Conference for subsequent years.

Awards Criteria

National Model United Nations (NMUN) advances understanding of the UN and contemporary international issues and has positively impacted the lives of numerous delegates. We urge all delegates and their faculty advisors to maintain an appropriate perspective regarding the awards. No one can observe every action in committee or truly judge an individual’s learning and growth. The fundamental basis of the simulation is collaboration and cooperation among nations, which includes working together through multilateral diplomacy. There are no winners and certainly no losers in this process. We believe participation in the simulation is its own reward. The Secretariat selects recipients based on the criteria and methodology outlined in this section.

Delegation Awards

National Model United Nations has established criteria for evaluating delegate performance.  Each element is equally important to the overall awards determination process. All committees are weighted equally, and delegations are rated using a mathematical formula that accounts for the total number of committees in which each Member State is represented.

Following the conclusion of sessions, NMUN volunteer staff members recommend 10% of the delegations in their respective committees for awards, based on performance throughout the course of each session. Each staff member has received training in evaluating delegate performance using these standards, and all staff decisions related to awards determinations are final. A delegation’s overall score is the number of times it receives recognition for a session divided by the number of opportunities for recognition. If a delegation’s actions are overly competitive or grossly disruptive to the committee, the staff may assess a negative recognition point counting against the awards tally.

Example: At NMUN•NY there are eight sessions. A country on five committees has forty possible opportunities for recognition in the top ten percent of delegations in that session. If that country is noted for outstanding performance in ten various committee sessions during the week, e.g., GA Plenary on Tuesday, GA Fourth on Tuesday and Wednesday, etc., that member state would score 10/40 = .25 or 25%. Just as a faculty member might assign letter grades based on natural clusters of scores, NMUN awards recognize Outstanding, Distinguished and Honorable Mention delegations. It is the overall delegation performance across all committees that is recognized by this system – not the outstanding performance in any one committee. Just as with grades on quizzes in a class, it is possible to have one poor score and still do well if all the other scores are good, but it is unlikely one outstanding grade can significantly raise the overall average. Any negative points for gross disruption of committee will be assessed prior to tabulation.

Areas of evaluation are:

  1. Remaining "in character": defined as advocating your assigned country’s position in a manner consistent with economic, social and geopolitical constraints. Although being ‘in character’ involves the accurate presentation of your country’s diplomatic style, delegates should not model inappropriate stereotypes or character traits. Any undiplomatic behavior is inherently out of character for United Nations delegates. Model UN delegates are to emulate the work of diplomats, not the sometimes more theatrical presentations of Heads of State/Government to the General Assembly (and media) during the general debate each fall; speeches by Heads of State/Government are political in nature and sometimes aimed as much at domestic audiences as at their UN counterparts. In addition, delegates must remember that any observation, comment or complaint regarding another delegate’s portrayal of his/her national or organizational ‘character’ is highly inappropriate, and such comments are themselves inherently ‘out of character’ for a diplomat. Yelling, standing on chairs and other examples of unprofessional behavior are not characteristics of model diplomats.  Remaining ‘in character’ includes consistent and accurate diplomacy and caucusing in a manner consistent with the country’s position and power, i.e., behind-the-scenes negotiator vs. in-the-forefront debater. Well-prepared delegates are typically committee leaders, whether or not such leadership is consistent with relevant foreign policy. Delegates will not be punished for natural leadership tendencies; however, delegates must recognize that there are limits to what is acceptable in this situation.

  2. Participating in committee: evaluated during both formal sessions and caucusing. The NMUN recognizes that a country’s position on any issue may require opposition to the majority, as opposed to active consensus-building. The conference staff expects delegates to support committee action and address issues in accordance with relevant national or organizational policies, whatever those may be. No priority is given to active participation in formal session over caucus activities. Delegates who provide leadership through assistance to the committee are provided special consideration. Chairs and Rapporteurs are provided equal consideration for awards, depending on their contributions as committee officials.  Individual effort as well as ability is considered, particularly for delegates who use English as a second language. Caucusing should be in English as the common language of the conference.

  3. Proper use of the rules of procedure: The NMUN uses the rules of procedure to facilitate the effective workings of the committee and debate. Consideration will be given to delegates’ knowledge and proper use of the NMUN rules, which differ from rules at other MUN conferences, and delegates’ use of rules to further the work of the committee, not to impede it. Staff is patient with new delegates who may not be completely familiar with the NMUN Rules of Procedure, particularly in the early sessions of the conference and during voting procedure. Delegates will not be permitted to interrupt the committee’s progress through the introduction of disruptive or inappropriate motions. Delegates with questions or concerns relating to the NMUN Rules of Procedure will be advised to informally approach the dais for explanation.

Delegate Awards in Committee

NMUN offers between two and five awards per committee, selected by popular vote of committee delegates (number based on size of committee). When voting for their peers, NMUN asks delegates to keep in mind that the conference believes outstanding delegates are those who cooperate and stay in the policy/character of their assigned member state. Yelling, standing on chairs and other examples of unprofessional behavior are not characteristics of model diplomats. Recipients will be announced at the final committee session.

Awards Methodology

Each session will be evaluated separately. An awards sheet recognizing delegations will be submitted to the departmental USG and eventually to the NMUN Deputy Secretary-General.

Members of the NCCA Board are responsible for all score calculations. The number of votes for each delegation is totaled and divided by the product of the number of committees in which that delegation is represented times the number of sessions (e.g. 5 committees * 8 sessions = 40 opportunities to be recognized as a top delegation in a session). While the total number of delegations that receive awards changes slightly from year to year, it is approximately 20%. That 20% is distributed between three categories of awards: Honorable Mention, Distinguished Delegation, and Outstanding Delegation.

Hypothetical Example:

Australia – 31 votes / (8 committees * 8 sessions) = total score of 49% = Outstanding Delegation
Cameroon – 20 votes / (5 committees * 8 sessions) = total score of 50% = Outstanding Delegation
Chile – 19 votes / (8 committees * 8 sessions) = total score of 30% = Distinguished Delegation
Japan – 31 votes / (10 committees * 8 sessions) = total score of 39% = Distinguished Delegation 
Switzerland – 2 votes / (3 committees * 8 sessions) = total score of 8%
United States – 20 votes / (10 committees * 8 sessions) = total score of 25% = Honorable Mention

The total awards scores are listed, without school or country names, by the NCCA Executive Director and from that list, the Deputy Secretary-General determines the cutoff for each awards category. School names are then matched with their scores and certificates are printed. All awards are distributed during closing ceremonies.

On each of the awards sheets, the Director and AD will list 10% of the total committee attendance or three delegations, (whichever number is greater) for awards recognition. For example, the number of delegates compromising 10% of the General Assembly is 19.

Position Paper Awards

Position papers are a critical part of delegate preparation. They require delegates to illustrate their knowledge of the agenda topics at hand, affirm the positions their country takes on these topics, and recommend courses of action to effectively address contemporary global problems. For the Conference Staff, position papers provide the best indication of which issues capture delegates’ interest, and help Directors and Assistant Directors design a strategy for the facilitation of committee debate. In addition, position papers often identify which delegates are best prepared for the Conference and are most likely to take a strong leadership role in committee sessions.

Additionally, the National Collegiate Conference Association Board of Directors will grant separate Position Paper Awards in recognition of outstanding pre-conference preparation. In order to be considered for a Position Paper Award, delegations must have met the published e-mail/postmark deadline.

The following criteria are used by the conference staff to evaluate Position Papers:

  • Overall quality of writing, proper style, grammar, etc.
  • Citation of relevant resolutions/documents
  • General consistency with bloc/geopolitical constraints
  • Consistency with the constraints of the United Nations
  • Analysis of issues, rather than reiteration of the Committee Background Guide

Safety Tips

Our conferences are open to college and university students only. Attendees should be 18 or older. As adults your safety is your personal responsibility. You may want to consider these tips:

  1. Do not wear your delegate badges outside of the hotel. They are a sign that you are a tourist which can potentially make you more vulnerable to crime.
  2. Avoid flashing cash at an ATM machine or on the street. Don't be alone in an elevator with someone you feel uncomfortable with (get off, if that isn't possible start a conversation and make eye contact so they know you will recognize their face). Never sit or stand in a subway near the doors where you are more vulnerable to theft.
  3. To defend yourself against a violent assailant, use an elbow (one of your strongest bones) or pinch their tricep (the muscle on the back side of the upper arm). Other self defense suggestions include gouging their eyes, hitting the bottom of their nose with the bottom of your palm, sharp blows to both sides of the head at the ears, kicks to the groin area and knees, and stomping on the top of their foot. The goal is to distract them enough so they release you in order for you to run to safety. Think twice about putting your hair in a ponytail as it makes a great handle for someone to use to grab you.
  4. Employ the buddy system. Always travel in groups and with people you know and trust.
  5. Be aware of your surroundings and be alert. People talking on cell phones or using headphones are more frequently attacked because they are unaware of what is happening around them.
  6. If someone attempts to rob you by asking for your wallet/purse do not hand it to them. Instead toss it away from you and run. Hopefully they will be more interested in the money than chasing you.
  7. Never leave your computer or other electronic devices unattended.
  8. Lock all valuables in the safe in your hotel room or in a safety deposit box at the hotel's front desk. Leave irreplaceable items at home.
  9. Your delegation should arrange for a meeting place outside of and away from the hotel in the event of an emergency. Consider carrying a small flashlight. Share your cell phone numbers so that you can inform each other of any problems.
  10. In the hotel, make sure you know where the exits and stairs are on your floor in the event of a fire or another emergency. In the event of a fire, do not panic. Follow these steps:
    • Do not use an elevator in a fire, use the stairs;
    • Call the front desk and 911 to tell them what is going on;
    • If you cannot get out of your room, do not open the windows wide or break them. This could cause more smoke and fire to enter your room. Instead, open the windows a tiny bit if possible;
    • Seal cracks around the door with wet towels and/or sheets from your room. Smoke inhalation kills more people than fire;
    • Do not jump out of the window.
  11. Refrain from any sort of substance abuse. Illicit drug use is prohibited and excessive alcohol consumption should be avoided. NMUN has strict rules regarding personal behavior. There is no drinking or illicit drug use allowed in committee sessions. If you are going to drink, please drink responsibly. The legal drinking age in the U.S. is 21 years of age.
  12. Bring spending money for meals and souvenirs but keep some cash in reserve in the event of an emergency. Watch out for tourist traps and remember NMUN is not an opportunity to ‘shop until you drop’ or a spring break vacation. Be on time for committee sessions and attend all of them.
  13. For participants in our conferences outside the U.S., stay abreast of the U.S. State Department's travel Alerts and Warnings.
Take safety precautions but don't forget to enjoy yourself. Numerous delegates have told us that NMUN is a life changing experience. Take full advantage of this unique opportunity in a responsible manner.



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