The Pros and Cons of Different Committee Time Periods

So the time has come. You were selected to go on conference; maybe for your first, fifth, or last time. Your president or head del as sent you the list of positions allotted to your team. Now, which do you choose? A historical wartime crisis? A present day board of directors? A future interplanetary government? 

Past, present, and future committees all have their pros and cons, and preferences greatly depend on who you are as a delegate and what your research style is. Frankly, the biggest difference between these types will come before the committee starts, so don’t be discouraged if you are placed in committee outside of your preferred time period. Debate will go on (which is also my fave Celine Dion song).

Past:

A tried and true classic. An opportunity to hash out events of old and make up for the mistakes that world leaders make all while making mistakes of your own. This kind of committee is very research heavy. Historians have covered it, so you will have a plethora of information to skim over. Those who like this committee type (read: most people) feel comfortable knowing the topic at hand well, and will base their crisis arcs off of historical precedence and plausibility. The flip side of that, though, is that sometimes you can be placed within historical confines, limiting creativity. Also, if you hate research and prefer to fly by the seat of your pants, this may not be for you. In short:

Pros-

  • Easy to research
  • Established precedence
  • Fun to remake history
  • Great for history buffs

Cons-

  • Needs a lot of research
  • Can lack creativity if stuck in canon
  • Can be difficult to research or plan for if the topic/position is obscure

Present:

I feel like these committees are a bit more rare on the circuit. By present, I mean more in the modern era, or the last 10 years or so. This committee period also requires quite a bit of research, but it can be easier because you’re looking more at news articles and current affairs analysis rather than having to comb through the ancient Egyptian archives on the Met website, for example. This can also be great because you know the time period well…because you live in it. You have the best insight into the current state of the world, and may be very invested in these topics as they are happening right in front of you. However, you will likely need to stay very much in character for this, as everyone would know you were off the mark if the delegate acting as Bernie Sanders advocated against Medicare. 

Pros-

  • Easy to research
  • Familiar topics
  • Fun to solve current issues (hopefully better than current leaders)

Cons-

  • High scrutiny levels over character accuracy
  • Can be dry
  • Requires a high level of knowledge on the topic

Future:

This is one of the more ~controversial~ committee time periods. If you love it, then you LOVE it. This is not as research heavy, because, ya know, it hasn’t happened yet so the materials are slim pickings. But that doesn’t mean no research, because you need to orient yourself. This is fun for people who like supreme amounts of freedom to be creative, but not super fun for people who like to be grounded in a topic they know. If done well, these committees can be great, but a poorly written background guide and an uninformed staff with send this kind of committee spiraling way easier than the other two.

Pros-

  • Ultimate creative freedom
  • Light(ish) research load
  • Great niche to become skilled in

Cons-

  • Lack of orientation
  • Can be confusing
  • Volatile in terms of losing structure and direction quickly

Every delegate has a preference, and this article is not intended to shift yours. But maybe, just maybe, you’ll try a new time period and it’ll change your mind completely. (Doubt it, MUN people are pretty stubborn and like what they like, but it’s the thought that counts.)

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