Getting Technical: Your Guide to MIG Weekend 2021
By Kelly Kupris (Tech Staff)
First and foremost, on behalf of the MIG tech staff as well as the organization, we would like to take the opportunity to welcome delegates to the Model Illinois Government simulation of 2021.
This year presented the executive board with a challenge unforeseen at the time of last year’s elections, the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of simulation taking place in Springfield at the Illinois State Capitol and Wyndham Hotel, everything was moved virtually.
As days crossed off the checklist and time churned ahead closer to the 2021 simulation, the executive board, their staff, and advisors worried about the numbers of delegates that would sign up and how to operate an online MIG weekend.
What would have been debates in the same rooms our government officials use, the discourse was to echo in dorm rooms, apartments, and family cabins. What would’ve been hundreds of participants quickly became a distant promise.
However, within the past month, there has been school after school signing up with over 90 delegates registering. Both first year students and returning vets filled in the ranks. During the practices, we saw new and returning faces who shared a burning passion to debate fire-laced legislation. We are proud of our delegates and their professors, our executive board, advisors, alumni, and all those who had a desire to keep the organization churning ahead, even if virtually. With tireless effort from everyone, the weekend has been planned to be fun, educational, and an experience that is not found outside of Model Illinois Government.
What will virtual MIG look like?
To begin, the chambers, committees, elections, and every MIG event will be moved to Zoom. Zoom can be downloaded on any PC, Mac, desktop computer, as well as mobile devices. Instructions on installation are on Zoom’s website and is a quick process.
Zoom meeting links will be posted at a "conference hub" on modelilgov.org and provided to all advisors and students to the email they registered with. These links will direct you to House/Senate chambers, committee meetings, caucasus, ceremonies, candidates forums, and any other typical MIG weekend event.
We ask that you edit your name on Zoom to reflect your role. For example, if you are a House Republican, you will put your title as First Name, Last Name (Republican). This will help our chamber heads and staff take roll-call, keep track of voting, and defer speaking time.
President of the Senate Dan Fogarty and Speaker of the House Kallie Matthews made a quick instructional video on how their chambers are being run which you can access here: https://youtu.be/egoAI67hDPE .
Voting on bills will be done via polls within the Zoom call, caucusing will be done via breakout rooms in Zoom, and the chamber heads will be the ones delegating speaking time on the floor sessions. If there are any questions about functionality you would like answered before the weekend starts please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
If you are new to Zoom or even a seasoned veteran, we recommend you check out the following tutorial videos just to gain a rudimentary understanding of the process of the sim weekend ahead:
How to fix your audio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xqez_BaMgCM
How to fix your video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovpgOSsJKA8
How to use the chat function: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgjFzFRRshk
Keep in mind we ask that delegates dress professionally from the waist up. Suits, collared shirts, blouses, dressy sweaters, and the like are considered appropriate. We prefer you wear an ensemble that would embody the professionalism and serious manner of the Capitol building.
We ask that you mute your microphone until called on to speak. There is no video recording allowed of the Zoom calls. While some aspects of parliamentary procedure will be hard to execute over Zoom, we ask that you remain professional in your speech and conduct yourself appropriately. The final thing we ask is that you do not have any political paraphernalia displayed in your webcam’s view. Again, any questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com,
On behalf of tech staff and the executive board, we thank you for your willingness to participate and are excited for some great debates. Remember to be respectful, have fun, and open your mind to learning. We will see you soon.