By: Caroline Bell

Photo by: Julia Hartlep

Being a first year delegate can be daunting because of the excitement surrounding the conference. Returning delegates know the ways of the mountain, but when you’re coming for the first time, it’s easy to get lost and confused. Parliamentary procedure can be terrifying for first years, and sometimes even returning delegates! Having to present a proposal in committees is extremely intimidating whether you’re in first committee or plenary.

Eli Schulz, a first year delegate from Arkansas, says, “I expected to get completely destroyed in debate.” However, when you debate and listen to numerous proposals, one can begin to understand and appreciate the important impact this conference has.

Brandon Witbrod, a returning delegate from Wyoming, explained that he hopes “people behind [me] continue to maintain the conversations here kindly and respectfully despite polarizing views.” 

Other than committees and debating, first year delegates have expectations about the living arrangements and the dress code. Daniella Zoeller, a new delegate from Wyoming, is spending her nights on the mountain staying in Eureka Hall’s rooms. She said, “I expected to have my own shower!” Returning delegates know the let down of that expectation all too well. As far as dress code goes, the assumption is all professional all the time! Cooper Young, a first year delegate from Arkansas, said, “one thing I expected was there to be a lot more suits involved and a lot less casual dress, and one thing I didn’t expect was how big pins were!” 

CONA is a special place where you can have a heated debate with another delegate but then go grab a Eureka treat with them after committees. Whether you’re a first year delegate or a fourth year, the mountain always seems to find a way into your heart.