I’m a high-school senior from Maine, and for three years I competed with my school’s Model UN delegation at the state level. In 2015, I qualified for the conference hosted by Harvard University, which, in contrast to the conference in Maine that hosts only a few hundred local students, welcomes more than 3,000 from around the world. The open sexual aggression I witnessed against female students, though, stayed constant.
The practice of note passing is integral to the workings of Model UN. Delegates pass notes to and from their peers so as not to disturb speakers during committee sessions. Most of the time, these notes are relevant to the committee’s goal and topic: Students silently confer about possible resolutions, arguments, or diplomatic actions to take against countries.
I have seen notes sent to female delegates, however, that I believe take an inappropriate tone. They range from merely flirtatious to crudely sexual. I’ve heard about notes with pornographic depictions of female students’ bodies, obscenely sexual propositions, or other vulgarities.