Guest Article: How My First Conference Taught Me to Love Model UN

Article By Darya Foroohar

Darya is a senior at Bard High School Early College Manhattan, where she is the Under-Secretary General for her school’s MUN team. She enjoys crisis and has won multiple awards in various conferences, the highest being best delegate. Outside of committee, her writing on MUN-related issues has been published on Best Delegate, and she runs an extremely funny MUN meme account called @poi_ntofinformation.

It was 10:30 P.M. on the eve of my first Model UN conference, and I was wondering what I had gotten myself into. My alarm was set for 5:45 A.M. My suitcase was filled to the brim with Western Business Attire. I had emailed all of my teachers to notify them of my upcoming absence, finished the work that was going to be due while I was away, and stuffed my backpack full of writing supplies. There was only one more thing to be done. Hands trembling, I feverishly googled “how do you do model un.” My heart beat faster as I realized I understood nothing about what I was going to do the next day.

I had impulsively signed up for this conference in March, after my friend, who was on the Secretariat of my school’s MUN team, told me there was an empty spot at CMUNC, Cornell’s conference, which was hosted in April. Even though I hadn’t done Model UN before, I immediately said yes, having been interested in the club for a long time but never taking the opportunity to join. Unfortunately, my busy schedule prevented me from actually going to any of the Model UN meetings before the conference, so I only had a vague idea of what MUN was. When it was time to choose committees, I had no idea what any of the acronyms, like ECOSOC and SOCHUM, meant, and I was too embarrassed to ask. I didn’t even know what a committee was. Unsure, I impulsively picked the one whose name I could at least somewhat understand: “Crisis: Animal Farm.” I didn’t know what crisis meant, but I had read Animal Farm, which seemed like a start. Yet the warnings of my fellow club members, who told me of vicious power delegates and ruthless bloc politics, filled my head with visions of failure and humiliation.

Their words were racing through my mind as I frantically tried to teach myself how to MUN in one night; they stayed with me on the bus to Ithaca and did not depart as I nibbled on pre-conference pizza. During opening ceremonies, I stared in awe at the huge auditorium and the hundreds of delegates that filled it, each looking more prepared than I was. I wanted nothing more than to run away, but I knew that if I chickened out, I would never forgive myself. Before I entered the committee room, I reminded myself what my friend had told me: no one else knows what they’re doing, either.

My committee was a simulation of the novel Animal Farm, set right after the animals had revolted and driven Mr. Jones out of the farm. The objective of the committee was to form a functioning government while dealing with both internal and external threats, which would come in the form of crisis updates caused by both staffers and delegates. I was representing Mr. Whymper, which made my situation slightly more difficult because he was not an animal and therefore did not have the trust of most of the people in the room. As the chair was making his welcoming remarks, I looked around the room, wondering if anyone else was as confused and nervous as I was.

I never did find out the answer to this, but I certainly discovered that I was far from the least capable in committee, a fear that had consumed me in the days leading up to the conference. Put on the spot during a round robin, I stammered out a few words and then sunk back into my seat, hoping people wouldn’t snicker. No one did. In fact, the amusement came from the delegate representing Mr. Jones, who spoke in a southern drawl and pretended to be drunk for the entirety of his one-minute speech. Other delegates spoke even less than I did. I was filled with relief– this wasn’t so bad! In fact, once I got over my fear of speaking, committee became fun. Each crisis note I wrote was more inventive, I raised my placard more often, and I formed alliances with multiple delegates. The fast pace of crisis kept me engaged, and the multiple updates assured me that if my first plan didn’t work, I could keep trying.

Whenever I was back with my MUN team, I gushed about how much I loved my committee and told them about all my crisis plans (such as creating an opium trade ring). My worries had vanished; all I worried about now was if I would get a chance to speak in the next moderated caucus. The committee was excellently run, a fact I appreciate in hindsight due to later experiences in disorganized committees. My chair was good-natured and the other delegates, while frustrating at times, were far from the malicious snakes I was told to expect. Many, even those I wasn’t working with in committee, offered encouragement and tips after hearing it was my first conference. I was awed by their eloquence and confidence in committee, seeing how different strategies– from playing the mediator to dedicating all time and energy to crisis notes– paid off. Yet I didn’t just learn how to do well in MUN, I learned that I was capable of doing well, a fact I had not dared to believe beforehand, not wanting to be disappointed in myself.         Ultimately, I didn’t get an award, a fact which did not surprise me, seeing as committee did not shape itself around my crisis arc (I didn’t even know what a crisis arc was). But instead of being disappointed, I was eager to return to the competitive, exhilarating world I had gotten just a taste of. I eagerly signed up for conferences the following year and even became a club officer, encouraging newcomers to go to conferences even though they didn’t know much about how do do MUN yet. At every conference I’ve been to since, I have learned new ways to debate and communicate with people, winning awards and shaping committee, but it was at CMUNC, my first conference, that I truly learned not just what it means to do model UN, but how to try something new: you may think you don’t know what you’re doing, but neither does anyone else.

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.


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.


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


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


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


Verbal – University of Chicago

Honorable – George Washington University

Outstanding – Indiana University

Best – University of Pennsylvania


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!

Debate Dos and Don’ts

So you have returned to learn more about what I think you should not do in order to be successful in MUN. In this saucy little article, we will be discussing debate. Debate is truly the heart of Model UN. Crisis is very much secondary, for a good arc does not an award make. Your chair will only see your debate and only hear your arc secondhand. While you may influence a room behind the scenes in crisis, the real way to show prowess as a delegate is to debate eloquently and frequently. That’s not even to mention the fact that GA committees exist and debate is your only option. Here are some tips and tricks we at MUN01 would recommend to hone in on your debate skills to really drive your award potential home.

Do: Plan out an opening speech

This is especially important in GAs, but if your crisis room does a round robin to start committee, it’s basically the same thing. Know what you are going to say. First impressions absolutely matter and will set the tone for how you will be seen as a delegate. Don’t risk the possibility of stammering over your words and looking unprepared. Have your talking points based around your research and give a succinct speech which portrays the kind of delegate you would like to be seen as, be it aggressive, cooperative, knowledgeable, relatable, etc. Establish your brand in your opening speech, it’s important.

Don’t: Read a speech verbatim off paper

This is a big novice move in crisis committees. GAs are different and very often call for major written speeches. GA dels, write on and read those speeches with the power of a major world leader, loves ya. However, in crisis, this comes across as you being unable to think on your feet. Crisis is fast paced, and if you can only give major points in debate if you are writing down a speech beforehand, you need to practice. This is not shade! On-the-fly speaking come with time and experience. Wean yourself off of reading your speeches by limiting yourself to one or two word talking points, just so you can direct yourself.

Do: Stand by your position

You are here to represent a person or a country with defined beliefs and policies. Don’t let people sway you off of that. There are powerful and persuasive debaters out there who will try to change your mind and push you off position just to discredit you later. Don’t fall into those tactics. Stay to course and recognize that you are just as capable as them. Tip: if someone is being particularly aggressive in debate, odds are other people feel uncomfortable too. Band together and support one another, y’all can succeed I promise. 

Don’t: Yell

Omg. I have to go off on this one. DO NOT YELL IN COMMITTEE. If its a particularly heated speech and your volume increases once or twice, ok, sure. But yelling? Unnecessary. If you have to yell to have your point heard you are a weak debater. Its an intimidation tactic that needs to stop and it makes everyone else uncomfortable (and also gives people headaches). The root of Model UN is diplomacy and screaming at people is clearly not that. Please, be civil, speak in an appropriate tone.

Some others-

Do: Read the committee about standing for speeches, crisis is typically no and GA is sometimes yes

Don’t: Propose a one minute speaking time

Do: Only use the speaking time you need, don’t stretch speeches to the full time if not necessary

Don’t: Roll your eyes if the chair doesn’t call on you

Do: Avoid um’s and uhh’s. Pause to collect your thoughts instead.

Don’t: Waste a speech to speak off topic. Pay attention to what others are saying and don’t go off topic

Do: Speak often! As much as possible!

Don’t: Cross talk or interrupt. So rude and also against parli pro.

These are just some general tips, we are hoping to come out with a comprehensive debate guide soon. Til then, I hope this helps. Have fun, debate hard, and remember: don’t yell.

Help Wanted: Conference Recaps

Are you a North American collegiate delegate? Are you on the Secretariat or Staff for a North American collegiate conference? We need your help!

It is our goal this season to write a conference recap for every North American collegiate conference that we can get data on to help provide delegates with a way to choose conferences in the future. This is also an opportunity to share what you’ve been up to at conference with family and friends! However, we can only really do this with YOUR participation.

Below are a list of the conferences we plan on covering through Fall 2019. An updated Spring 2020 will be published once more conference have published conference dates. If you do not see a conference listed that you are attending or hosting this fall, please email us at or DM us @mun01podcast on Instagram to get the conference added.

Expected Conference Coverage Articles for Fall 2019:

  • CMUNNY XIV at Columbia University (9/26/19-9/29/19)
  • BARMUN XII at Boston University (10/3/19-10/6/19)
  • NCSC XLVII at Georgetown University (10/17/19-10/20/19)
  • SCSY XLII at Yale University (10/24/19-10/27/19)
  • TrojanMUN 2019 at University of Southern California (10/24/19-10/27/19)
  • UPMUNC 53 at University of Pennsylvania (10/31/19-11/3/19)
  • DISCon 2019 at Duke University (11/1/19-11/3/19) 
  • CIAC X at Cornell University (11/7/19-11/10/19)
  • QMUNi 2019 at Queen’s University (11/14/19-11/17/19)

Being a “Conference Reporter” requires very little effort! We promise! All you have to do is DM us or email us which conference(s) you are attending and let us know your thoughts from the weekend. We will typically publish conference reviews the Friday after the conference. (For example, the CMUNNY review will be published on 10/4.) Please have your thoughts to us ASAP! Use this format below to guide you:

  • What committee were you in? Which position did you have? Did you award?
  • Did conference weekend run smoothly? Was your chair effective? Did crisis run well?
  • Did you enjoy the socials/which did you attend?
  • Favorite parts of the weekend/anecdotes and stories!
    • You can tell us about something crazy that happened in your room or anything else you think would be fun to share with the MUN world!

Please note, if you share your thoughts from the conference weekend we will default to publishing your first name with your quote unless you ask otherwise. You can choose to include up to your full name and school or leave an anonymous response.

If you are on Secretariat/Staff for a conference it’s also pretty low effort! Just like a Conference Reporter, all you have to do is DM us or email us in advance to let us know you would like to participate. We will typically publish conference reviews the Friday after the conference. (For example, the CMUNNY review will be published on 10/4.) Please have your responses to us ASAP! Here are some things we look for from conferences:

  • A quote from the Secretary General or another member of the Secretariat or Staff
  • The number of delegates attending and the names of the delegations 
  • Awards breakdown
    • Who got the delegation awards?
    • What committee awards went to which schools?
  • Any photos or extra comments! (Not necessary but appreciated!)

Participating in the article as a conference organizer is a great way to demonstrate your conference’s commitment to sharing news with and participating in the MUN community. In return the delegates who competed get to share the article about your conference with friends and family and delegates who didn’t attend may be interested and come next year! Free publicity!

MUN01 Podcast handle with gavels

How to Read a Background Guide

A good background guide gets better with each read. Because of that, we think it’s important to look at all of the included information not just once, but sometimes five times. There will always be stuff you missed, or things you can build on to work with your arc or to write a great resolution.

The First Look

This is where you’re going to get an idea for what the committee will actually focus on. We’ll take it step by step, cover to cover.

The first thing you’ll typically see in a background guide are letters from the chair (and maybe crisis director) – these are sometimes interesting to read. These are typically introductory letters where the chairs and CDs introduce themselves and say what they’re interested in. They’re typically pretty informal. I like to know what my dais members are interested in and if they have a particular passion for the topic (which they hopefully do). Sometimes you can also gauge how experienced they are as a delegate, which should give you some indication of how debate will go. What we mean by this is that sometimes more inexperienced chairs have a harder time controlling the room and may use stricter parliamentary procedure in order to try and bring about order to the room instead of just going with the flow of debate. How to control a room is learned in time, and is something even the most experienced chairs may have trouble with. Check out our article on how to be a great chair here.  Also if you’re looking to get on your chair’s good side, bringing up one of the hobbies and talking to them about it is a great way to make connections on the circuit. 

Past the letters will be the first bit of information relevant to the committee: background and introductory information. This information has been researched by the dais members and chosen specifically for the committee. Do a general read of this at first to see what time period you’ll be in and what the big issues are. More in-depth reads will come later in the background guide reading process. 

Next you will typically encounter “questions to consider.” An oft-overlooked bit of the guide, these questions will essentially guide debate. They are created by the dais to specifically lead debate to talk about those questions (i.e. this is what the dais wants you to talk about). Read through these carefully. It’s far more important to absorb the questions the dais wants you to ask and skim through the background information at first, and we’ll tell you why in a minute. 

Past this will be position information. These short little bios tell you important and relevant information about the positions in the committee. Sometimes a fun fact will be included in the bio which can often be helpful in building an arc or getting people to side with you on an issue. Look at your position’s bio first. It’s important to take in everything that the dais has included that they believe is relevant to your place in committee. From this, then look back at the other positions and see who your allies may be. 

Love at (Second) Sight

Now’s when you’ll really get into the meat of the guide. Using the “questions to consider” part, look again at the background information. Is there anything in there that specifically addresses one or more of the questions? If the guide is written well, there should be. Highlight, circle, or do whatever to this info so you can look back at it later. There’s a reason the writers put it in the guide, so use it. This is why it’s more helpful to look at the questions before doing a deep dive into the background material. Now you’re able to focus more on what the dais wants you to know without getting sidetracked by other information that may not be as relevant. 

Look at the positions again, but this time using your new information from the guide. Are there any positions that are radically against the situation? Who is on your side and who’s on the opposing side? How many positions are on the opposing side? Are you friends with anyone? Check the article here for more questions to ask while reading a guide so you get the full picture of what’s going on. 

Now look at the sources at the end of the guide. Another underrated part of the guide, these sources are often the key to good research. In this article about how to research a position, we talk about doing a deep dive into the sources as one of the first steps to good research. When you’re looking at the sources, try and figure out what the writers of the guide left out. Is there any information that you find important that wasn’t featured in the guide? If so, make a note of it. 

The Third Read (and On)

This is where you really pick apart the information. How are you going to address the questions, and how does your position play into the situation that you’ll be discussing. Make sure you don’t graze over anything in the guide, the dais wrote this guide a certain way for a reason. Try and absorb all the information you can from it, and then take to the books and the internet to look for more information. It’s better to be over-researched and use only 20% of it in debate than to have very little research and the debate is focused on the 20% you didn’t look at.

Good luck and hit us up at with any comments, questions, or other fun things!

MUN delegate writing on legal pad

What is a JCC?

JCC, The Acronym

We all know that Model United Nations, MUN, loves acronyms. To learn more about MUN acronyms and terms, check out our official MUN Term Glossary. JCC stands for “Joint Crisis Committee.” As the name would imply, JCCs are crisis committees, meaning they follow crisis procedure. You can read more about crisis committees here. Before launching yourself into the world of JCCs, you should have a strong grasp on crisis committee procedure and how crisis powers function. However, JCCs are special in that they are not only one committee room.

The Structure

So if a JCC is not made up of one committee room, how many are there exactly? Typically, JCCs are made up of two, separate committee rooms. However, some conferences are experimenting with “JCCs” that are, in reality, three, four, five, or more committee rooms. Regardless of the size of a JCC, the rest of the structure remains the same. The committee rooms in a JCC are separate in their physical location, but united under the same committee topic. Take the most fundamental JCC, the war themed JCC, for example. One committee room can be on one side of the war while the other committee room is on the other side of the war. A popular committee for this type is the American Revolution. One room would be the British and the other would be the American Revolutionaries. 

To summarize, JCCs are often two, separate committee rooms (sometimes more) that are battling against each other. Crisis operates in the same universe and actions from one committee can affect the other. Usually there is a “win condition” that will end the committee on Sunday morning with one room being victorious over the other. Typically JCCs will be themed as wars (cold or regular) and have a high likelihood of war games happening.

How Should I Prepare for Committee?

Alright, so you volunteered or were volun-told to be in a JCC. What now? Hopefully, you’ve already got your crisis game down. This isn’t to say your first ever committee shouldn’t be a JCC. In fact, my first committee was a five way JCC. Hear all about that in Episode #3 of the podcast here. Just make sure you know crisis procedure and that you understand the powers of crisis notes well. From there, follow the normal steps to research your crisis position and prepare your arc. We have multiple articles on how to do this from background guide strategies to questions you can ask yourself while reading one.  Keep in mind that everybody’s strategy for a JCC differs. You can go into committee and play anything from the strong leader fighting for your side’s cause to the traitor feeding information to the other side. Make sure to read up on your position and understand their motivations and figure out a strategy that will work with that as well as your own strong suits.

For JCCs, you will need to go the extra step in researching a bit about the other side. Read their background guide, if it’s a separate document, and take note of a couple things. 

  • What is their motivation in the fight? (Land, wealth, information, control, etc.)
  • What positions are in the other room? (Who you should worry about and who you can work with)
  • What kind of resources do they have? (What kind of things can they use on your side)

What Will I See in a JCC?

In every JCC I’ve ever been in, there’s always someone, two, or three who feeds information to the other side. There’s always been the leader rallying people against the other side. There’s always been the loud dissident fighting for the cause but against the leader. These are all archetypes that you will see in a normal crisis committee except for the first. You need to be aware that nothing you say or do in committee will stay secret within the room. Another new aspect to committee will be the communication that is available between the two committee rooms. You’ll be able to create crisis arcs that involve both rooms and may even be able to meet face to face for secret hallway meetings.

Parting Words

Don’t be scared about going into a JCC. If you understand crisis, going into a JCC will feel familiar, but with fun, fresh aspects that will keep committee engaging and exciting. It’s always interesting to battle against the crisis room in a typical committee, but it’s a whole new level to battle against another room full of delegates. 

This article covers a topic that was discussed in Episode #14 of the MUN01 Podcast. Listen to the episode on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Questions, comments, and concerns can be shared with us at or through our “Contact” page. All feedback is appreciated!

Gaggle of gavels

Conference Packing List

So… you’re going to conference. If you’re anything like the three of us, you’ve now waited until the night before you leave to pack for the weekend. If you’re anything like Carol, you’re stressed about this. Here you will find an (almost) comprehensive list of everything you should pack for you exciting weekend getaway to the great land of debate.


  • Underwear! As a life rule, always bring more pairs than you think you’re going to need. 
  • Depending on the number of days of the conference, at least one business formal outfit for each day. Carol sometimes brings five, but that’s because she’s indecisive and changes her mind constantly. 
  • A casual pair of pants
  • A few casual tops for non-committee events
  • Comfortable clothes for sleeping in
  • Business professional shoes to match your committee outfits
  • Comfortable shoes for when your feet start hurting
  • Ties, if that applies to you
  • Belts, also if that applies to you
  • A coat if it’s going to be cold

Committee Things

  • A legal pad for writing notes
  • A padfolio if you’re like us and like to look important
  • Multiple pens or pencils because you will definitely lose some
  • A stapler so you can be *that delegate* with the stapler when someone needs it


  • A toothbrush 
  • Toothpaste
  • Makeup (if you wear it)
  • Face wash
  • A hairbrush
  • Whatever hair products you may need
  • Multiple hair ties to tie up your hair during lively debate and since people always need them


  • A speaker to blast your chosen conference playlist while you get ready
  • Snacks
  • A water bottle (if you’re like Kyla and Casey and carry one around at all times like it’s your child, or if you’re like Carol and lose one almost every conference)
  • A bang-up attitude and some moxie!

Good luck and god-speed!