Conference Recap: BARMUN XII

The Boston Area Model United Nations Conference (BARMUN) occurred in its 12th iteration this past weekend from October 3rd to October 6th. The conference took place on Boston University’s campus was led to success by this year’s Secretary-General Akash Chopra.

Akash generously contributed to this article with both comments on the weekend as well as the delegation award winners. About this year’s BarMUN, Akash wrote, “BarMUN XII was the most successful BarMUN that has been hosted by Boston University. BarMUN XII brought with it many firsts – this is the first time that we have over 400 delegates at our conference, the first time we have over 40 delegations attending, the first time that we have 17 committees and the first time that we have 100% of our merchandise sales dedicated toward our sponsor charity (Charity:Water). Having our sponsored charity receive all the merchandise sales was always a vision of mine and Jonathan and I was extremely glad budgeting wise, when we were able to make this possible.”  

It’s always commendable to see a conference dedicate part of their income to giving back and BarMUN XII’s decision to do so is highly regarded.

Attending Delegations

The following schools attended the conference, as listed alphabetically in the delegate handbook:

  • American University
  • Boston College
  • Brown University
  • Clark University
  • Clarkson University
  • Colgate University
  • Columbia University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Elon University
  • Emory University
  • Florida International University
  • Fordham University
  • Georgetown University
  • George Washington University
  • Harvard University
  • Indiana University
  • McGill University
  • Michigan State University
  • Middlebury College
  • New York University
  • Northeastern University
  • Northern Arizona University
  • The Ohio State University
  • Penn State University
  • Princeton University
  • Roger Williams University
  • Seton Hall University
  • State University of New York at Geneseo
  • The United States Naval Academy
  • University of Alabama
  • University of Albany
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of San Francisco
  • University of Vermont
  • Vanderbilt University
  • Wellesley College
  • Wheaton College

Committee Overview

BarMUN XII featured 17 committees this year with a mix of procedural styles from General Assembly style Economic & Social Councils, Specialized Committees, and Crisis Committees. 

The three ECOSOC committees included The United States Summit on the Use of Federal Land, Senado Federal: Aftermath of the World’s Spotlight, and CHOGM2020: The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. 

The three Specialized Committees were the Belt & Road Initiative, Project Looking Glass, and Brexit: The Cabinet of Theresa May. 

BarMUN’s most heavily featured committee style was their 11 crisis committees, including a two room JCC. The single room crisis committees were: Ukranian Missile Crisis (1991), 2018 Facebook Board of Directors, Pax Britannica, The Ohio Gang, The Peace of Westphalia, Pope Leo’s Cardinals, Jefferson’s Cabinet, The Committee of 40, and the Ad Hoc. The JCC was called A Portrait of Our Neighbors: Orthodox v. Reformist Communists and is based on the “aftershocks of the Sino-Soviet Communist split” based on the topic blurb on the website.

This year’s ad hoc committee was all about the Salem Witch Trials to feature a more local, albeit historical, topic.

In regards to the background guide quality, the guides were praised for their detailed, thorough, and informative historical background on the topic and the guide’s overall formatting and design.

However, some delegates noted the guides had unclear start dates, sometimes a lack of clear committee direction, and that some positions on the guide that were assigned were missing from the character dossier section. Please note that the latter problem was fixed promptly when the issue was brought to Secretariat before the start of the conference. 

Committee Comments

As it should always be said, the committee comments section should serve as a balanced critique of the conference. MUN01 recognizes the hardwork and dedication that all Secretariat members put into the weekend. However, MUN01 also believes that delegates should be able to receive honest opinions and conferences gain feedback to grow and improve every year!

Committee Praises

Overall, BarMUN praises came mostly from in-room performance by daises and satisfaction with committee topics. Delegates were generally satisfied with the chairing and it seemed like all the chairs had been trained and had some prior experience running a room. The selection of committee topics was also given two thumbs up for their range in topics and interest factor. 

Committee Critiques

The most common critiques of the conference stemmed from backroom problems. According to delegates in specialized committees, procedure for that committee type was unclear and unclarified until day two of the conference. In committees such as Pax Britannica, there was not a clear start date and committee jumped ahead 20 years until delegates protested and it was lowered to a 12 year time jump. Some other delegates had complaints over crisis updates that seemed unrelated to delegate’s arcs. Crisis notes response time were also an issue. Another complaint was that the first session of committee lasted 3.5 hours and went until 11pm. A suggestion was that an hour be taken off that day and moved to Friday’s session.

Socials

BarMUN XII hosted both a head delegate social and a typical delegate social for the weekend. The head delegate social took place on Friday night at the Fenmore Grill inside of the Hotel Buckmister, one of the two recommended hotels for delegations. A short walk from the head delegate feedback room, the event featured an open bar with beer and wine for those of age and a buffet of Italian food. It was all free for the head delegates and was greatly appreciated after the second day of committee.

The second social was for all attending delegates on Saturday night and was held at Boston’s Hard Rock Cafe in a separate event room with a bar, some tables, and a large dance floor with a DJ. Delegates appreciated the 5pm end time of committee that day and the break before the 9pm start of the social. Many enjoyed it right up to the 12am end time which disappointed some delegates, but was necessary due to the closing time of the restaurant.

Awards

As is always the case, Sunday brought an end to the weekend’s antics and debate. Secretary General Akash took the podium during closing ceremonies to give a heartfelt speech about how much Model UN has meant to him throughout his life. And then, it was the moment everyone had been waiting for. Awards.

Delegation Awards were given out as follows:

Best Large – University of Chicago

Outstanding Large – Florida International University 

Best Small – American University

Outstanding Small – The George Washington University

American University after their Best Small Delegation award win

Individual Awards, by school, were given out as follows:

Belt and Road

Verbal – Emory

Verbal – Georgetown

Honorable – McGill

Honorable – University of Pennsylvania

Outstanding – Florida International University

Best – Michigan State University

Brexit

Verbal – American University

Verbal – University of Alabama

Honorable – Clark University

Outstanding – University of Chicago

Best – George Washington University

Pope Leo’s Cardinals

Verbal – University of Pennsylvania

Verbal – Florida International University

Honorable – McGill

Outstanding – Michigan State University

Best – Georgetown

Project Looking Glass

Verbal – University of Minnesota

Verbal – SUNY Geneseo

Honorable – George Washington University

Outstanding – McGill

Best – University of Chicago

Westphalia

Verbal – Columbia

Verbal – Georgetown

Honorable – NYU

Outstanding – Emory

Best – Princeton

Ohio Gang

Verbal – Florida International University

Verbal – Wellesley

Honorable – Seton Hall University

Outstanding – University of Chicago

Best – Indiana University

JCC Orthodox

Verbal – Fordham

Verbal – Ohio State University

Honorable – Indiana University

Outstanding – Florida International University

Best – University of Chicago

JCC Reformist

Verbal – Wheaton

Verbal – University of Chicago

Honorable – Clark University

Outstanding – Fordham

Best – Emory

Jefferson’s Cabinet

Verbal – George Washington University

Verbal – Indiana University

Honorable – American University

Outstanding – McGill

Best – University of Chicago

Pax Britannica

Verbal – McGill

Verbal – Harvard

Honorable – Florida International University

Outstanding – George Washington University

Best – American University

Ukrainian Missile Crisis

Verbal – Georgetown

Verbal – Harvard

Honorable – Alabama*

Honorable – University of Chicago*

Outstanding – American*

Best – Princeton*

*award information was given by an attending delegate, shout out to you

Facebook

Verbal – University of Chicago

Honorable – George Washington University

Outstanding – Indiana University

Best – University of Pennsylvania

CHOGM

Verbal – Harvard

Verbal – University of San Francisco

Verbal – Georgetown

Honorable – Fordham

Honorable – University of Chicago

Outstanding – Northeastern University

Best – Florida International University

Senado Federal

Verbal – Clark University

Verbal – Northeastern University

Verbal – McGill

Honorable – Georgetown

Honorable – American

Outstanding – Harvard

Best – University of Pennsylvania

Committee of 40

Verbal – Florida International University

Verbal – University of Pennsylvania

Honorable – Harvard

Outstanding – Indiana

Best – Emory

US Federal Land

Verbal – Emory

Verbal – Indiana

Verbal – Columbia

Honorable – University of San Francisco

Honorable – University of San Francisco (not a duplicate)

Outstanding – Florida International University

Best – American

Ad Hoc

Verbal – Middlebury

Verbal – Princeton

Honorable – Alabama

Outstanding – University of Chicago

Best – Harvard

Casey would also like to shoutout whoever found her water bottle and gave it to audiotorium staff that she left during closing ceremonies.

To read more about BarMUN XII click here to see the conference website. Thank you to the teams and delegates who participated in building this article with their comments, critiques, and photos. Also a thank you to BarMUN XII for providing delegation award information and quotes and statistics for the article. Congrats to all who competed in or staffed the conference!

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