Developing CONA Committee Connections

By Sareena Fayaz, PA

In the ‘Trap’ committee, otherwise known as first Committee I, “We put the I in sin,” said Nathaniel Pettit, a delegate from Pennsylvania.

Besides the jokes in Committee I, committee chair Kate Hannick from Missouri “wrote us really nice notes” and “managed to promote good debates within the boundaries of good parliamentary debate,” said Pettit.

Spending all day in committee cannot only lead to interesting debates but also interesting bonds and connections between delegates.

Washington Youth Gov. Jade Chowning, along with other delegates, communicated with some members in her first committee on Facebook before CONA started, but after debating, it “felt awesome to know I made friends that I could not only connect with but also discuss proposals with,” she said.

Chowning also added that as a first-year delegate coming into CONA, she wasn’t too comfortable in her parliamentary procedure skills but “my chairs explained everything to me,” she said.

“It was a positive experience, I had great chairs,” said Chowning, whose combined chemical regulation and safety proposal made it to Third Committee.

Lainey Newman, second-year delegate from Pennsylvania, loved how in her Second Committee, Committee V , the “proposals were enthralling, they covered a variety of topics,” she said.

“I kid you not, I was impressed by every single speaker in some form,” Newman said.

In Kentucky, first-year delegate Nicole Fielder is passionately involved in the Pritchard Committee Student Voice Team (PCSVT), a Kentucky initiative, which raises the level of students’ voices in that state’s education policies.

In first committee, Fielder met Brady Grotton, a delegate from Maine, who to her surprise was familiar with the PCSVT. “Since then we’ve talked about our proposals and gotten to know each other,” she said. “It’s worlds colliding. It’s mindblowing.”

In Fielder’s Second Committee, Committee VI,  Raghavendra Pai, a committee chair from Oklahoma, would do a popular dance called the ‘whip’ on the number five when counting down on the proposal rating scale.

The other committee chair, Helen Streff of Minnesota, lead countdowns in different languages, from Japanese to Dothraki from Game of Thrones. Sometimes delegates who spoke the languages would be asked to lead the countdown or the language would be looked up.

“My favorite [moment in committee] was at the very end Streff said, ‘Since we’re finishing, we’re gonna do it in Finnish,’” Fielder said.

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