What happens at an EYP event?
The first element to any EYP session is Teambuilding. This is typically the first part of the session, and it serves to establish a strong group dynamic, as well as create an environment for positive and productive discussion. Experience-based methodology is used for outdoor and indoor activities, and from this ground rules are set for fruitful cooperation. Through games, problem-solving, brain teasers, and a whole lot more besides, Teambuilding helps to get everyone in the group involved.
Teambuilding gives delegates the opportunity to meet a whole host of new people with whom, through the many different styles of games and activities, they can grow to feel comfortable talking to and debating with. Delegates are grouped into committees, each of which will have a member from each different delegation, promoting communication and inter-delegation discussion by encouraging delegates to push their comfort zones to a level they feel comfortable with.
Teambuilding may feel silly at times, but the progress a delegate makes by testing the borders of their comfort zone through acting the fool means they will feel more comfortable opposing views and voicing their opinions in General Assembly. Teambuilding gives delegates the confidence to be themselves, improving their cooperation and making new friendships with the reassurance that everyone is in the same situation.
Once the fun and games of Teambuilding reaches its conclusion, the next element of the session sees committees getting down to business – time for Committee Work!
In Committee Work, you will be working collaboratively with your fellow committee members in order to prepare for General Assembly. Committee Work is facilitated by your Chairperson, and has the goal of creating a resolution which expresses the combined opinion of your whole committee on your given topic. In Committee Work, your Chairperson will lead brainstorming, knowledge sharing and discussion sessions on the issues surrounding your topic, and encourage you to come up with possible solutions. Once agreed, these will be drafted into a resolution format and phrased to ensure that the points you are making will be understood by all participants.
Although this may sound difficult, Committee Work often turns out to be delegates’ favourite part of a session, as you have the opportunity to discuss your ideas with others and create a whole resolution from scratch as one team with a shared goal.
Committee Work is excellent preparation for future sessions, and if you attend an International Session or International Forum, you will again create a resolution to defend in General Assembly, working with individuals from across EYP’s 40 associations and organisations. As well as this, Committee Work teaches you to listen to everyone’s opinions and respecting others' views. It is important to let others speak during Committee Work discussions, whilst also feeling empowered to offer your own contributions and voice your opinions.
Don’t worry too much about what you say, as the main thing is that you actively participate and contribute to the discussions in a constructive and encouraging manner. The focus is not on who had the original idea, but how it is discussed and formulated by the group. Committee Work is rewarding and enjoyable, and you should make the most of being surrounded by others who are keen to hear your opinion and are accepting of what you have to say!
By the end of this part of the session, you will have had fun teambuilding with your fellow 'EYPers' both within and outside your committees, you will have analysed and discussed your topic and written a watertight resolution, and you will be ready to defend your hard work as a committee in the final phase - General Assembly!
In General Assembly, committees gather to work through the resolution booklet one resolution at a time through discussion, argument and reasoning. Delegates will assess whether the resolution is fit to pass, or whether it requires alteration, which usually results in a failure to pass, with the outcome decided by a vote. While you should be very proud if your resolution passes, you should not be disheartened if it does not. If you have stated your case and reasoned with your fellow delegates as best you can, nobody can ask for more. Remember, the outcome of the vote on your resolution makes no difference to whether you are selected.
General Assembly debate follows the same structure for every resolution:
The proposing committee will be invited (and will hopefully accept the invitation!) to make a three-minute defence speech;
Following this, committees will be asked to offer a three-minute attack speech. If the chosen committee does not use the full three minutes, the remaining time may be given to another committee bidding to attack;
The floor will then be open for debate. All committees should offer points throughout the debate, bearing in mind that every six to ten points or so, the proposing committee will be returned to in order to respond to the points raised in that round of open debate;
The debate will conclude with a three-minute summation speech from the proposing committee, which should address the key issues raised and answer any outstanding questions in a final bid to defend the resolution;
The result of the resolution is decided by a vote. Each committee will be asked to state their votes in favour, against and any abstentions. Delegates are encouraged to vote as individuals; the full committee does not need to vote the same way.
How do the placards work in GA?
There are four main placards you will be using in General Assembly:
Committee name placard: This one has the four-letter abbreviation which refers to your committee, and should be raised whenever anyone from the committee wishes to be recognised to make a point or deliver a speech, as well as alongside any of the below placards, so that the board knows which committee is raising the placard.
Direct response placard: Each committee may use this placard once per debate in order to directly respond immediately to a point made by another committee. It can only be used in response to the most recent point made, and the board will make you aware of correct and incorrect usage of this placard. Using this placard encourages fast-paced and engaging debate, and is very much encouraged!
Point of personal privilege: If you cannot make out what someone is saying, you would raise this placard. Generally, this is because the microphone is being held too close or too far away, or if someone is speaking too fast. If the board agrees that the speaking was unclear, they will recognise your point of personal privilege and ask the speaker to repeat what they said.
Point of order: This placard is to be used if the board deviates from the scheduled order, such as by promising the next point to a certain committee, then skipping them and going to a different committee, or by recognising a committee for two Direct Responses in one debate. This placard alerts them to what they have done, so that the mistake can be remedied.