MUN Committees – Which style works best for you?

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MUN Committees –

In MUN, all committees are not created equal. Some might have only 10 delegates and will force you to speak far more often. Others will have hundreds of members and will make you rely on your negotiating skills outside of the committee room.

You will see a range of titles for the different committee types in MUN. But it really boils down to 3 styles:

1 – Regular committees

2 – Crisis Committees

3 – Fusion committees

Regular committees are what you will normally experience in a GA or ECOSOC. Crisis committees normally are labeled as such, but some Specialized agencies will also use this format. Fusion committees are more difficult to categorize, this style can be found in any category depending on the conference.

1 – Regular committees –  

This committee type is a staple of Model UN. Regular committees mimic what would happen in the UN. Delegates discuss a problem and they work to develop Working papers that turn into Resolutions. This style will force delegates to reach a consensus with other committee members. As a delegate, you should form blocs with people who can complement your ideas. Solutions that pass will use opinions from multiple delegates in order to make a comprehensive resolution.

Regular committees can have hundreds of delegates that form multiple different blocs. To succeed, you must cooperate and make compromises. You will also need to merge working papers to get the votes necessary for your work to pass. This process can take time, over the course of a conference, delegates will only pass resolutions on 1-2 topics.

Speeches –

Due to the size of Regular committees, you will not have many chances to speak. This means that every speech counts. It may be useful to make notes for important talking points and you can mention them when you get the chance. Coming up with motions that other delegates want to discuss can also give you a free opportunity to speak. This is because if you make a motion that passes, you are automatically able to speak for that topic. If you are a core member of your bloc, other delegates may also yield time to you. Allowing you to speak more about the important aspects of your work.

The most significant progress you make in Regular committees will be in Unmoderated caucuses and outside of committee sessions. These periods let you meet face-to-face with other delegates and quickly figure out how you will work together.

Double-delegate –

In some Regular committees, delegates will work with a partner. This can make it easier for delegates to divide work and get more done. One delegate can be in the committee room making speeches while the other is outside working with other teams.

Regular MUN Committees are characterized by having more delegates, Big blocs, less speaking time, more cooperation with delegates and out-of-committee work.
Image showing the primary characteristics of Regular MUN committees

2 – Crisis Committees –

While Regular committees accommodate a steady process that methodically approaches a consensus, Crisis committees are far more dynamic. The goal of this style is to make decisions quickly and adjust to a situation that is constantly changing. Because of this, Crisis committees have a different process that can accommodate this dynamism.

In a Crisis committee, delegates don’t normally represent a state. Rather they embody a certain character and they use the first-person in debate. As a delegate, you will have 2 jobs: You must first work in committee to pass directives, but also work in the background through crisis notes in order to reach your own secret objectives.

Crisis Updates –

The backroom is just as important as your actions in committee. During debate, you will receive regular crisis updates. Some developments will be predetermined by the Crisis director and will be used to regulate the pace of discussion. Many updates will also be influenced by the actions taken by individual delegates and by directives passed.

Imagine your committee was the executive board for an Oil company and your committee voted against new environmental protection protocols. Your board might receive a crisis update telling you that you are now on the verge of losing valuable contracts. This would force your committee to deal with these new problems by passing new directives. However, depending on your agenda, you might want to undermine these new policies. You could fund protests that would stop new contract negotiations.

In Crisis committees you may also receive a Timed-Crisis. This could involve a similar set of circumstances. However, your committee would be on the clock to deal with the issue. Regular debate would be suspended and delegates would not be able to pass Crisis notes until they solved the problem.

Speeches –

Crisis committees don’t have many delegates – you may only be working with 20 other committee members. This means that you will speak far more frequently. Detailed plans and speech notes will not be as useful – the committee moves quickly so you risk falling behind. To accommodate this, you should understand your character’s role in the committee. This will give you an angle that you are always able to speak on. Whenever there is an update, consider the role of your character and try to make that a priority.

Directives –

In Crisis committees, you don’t write Resolutions, you pass Directives. Over the course of a conference, you might pass as many as 10-15 different sets. This can be a good thing, you will work with nearly every committee member by the end of the conference. However, this also means that Blocs will be more flexible. With every new set of Directives to submit, you will need to find a new group of people to work with. However, if you find people that you enjoy working with, there are ways to keep cooperating. You could write Directives together or make Joint Crisis notes.

In general, Crisis committees are characterized by the need for both Directives and Crisis notes, Faster pace, more dynamic blocs, more speaking time and delegates having to speak in the first person
Image showing the primary characteristics of Crisis committees

3 – Fusion committees –

These are committees that are in-between the Regular and Crisis styles. It can be something like a double-delegate Crisis committee. You could also have a committee that uses the Resolution crafting format of the Regular style, but with Crisis notes and a back-room dynamic.

Other Fusion committees may not have Crisis notes, but they will have Crisis updates based on resolutions that get passed. There are even committees that will have a back-room for the first day, and the second day as a regular debate. MUN conferences will use all of these styles to keep delegates adjusting!

In general, fusion committees are characterized by Variety - so be ready!
Image showing the primary characteristics of Fusion MUN committees

Choosing your MUN committee –

To conclude, MUN gives you a range of different experiences that you can explore as a delegate. So if you’re the type delegate who wants to learn about proper MUN protocols and likes speaking to a large audience, then you should consider Regular committees. But if you prefer something more fast-paced that gives you room for creativity, then Crisis committees are the style for you! Finally, if you feel like something different, then try out a Fusion committee.

Over the course of your MUN career you should stay open to trying every style at least once. This will let you experience everything that MUN has to offer!

Now that you have learned a few of the basics about committees, check out our Article on using MUN Points and motions correctly.

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