In addition to the already challenging competitive, strategic nature of Model UN, double delegation committees provide entirely new different obstacles for delegates to navigate both individually and together. Even the most astute Model UN champions may struggle in double delegation committees when placing in awards not only depends on personal preparation and performance, but also cooperative efforts of the pair that works most efficiently together. With this in mind, it can be very tempting to want your best friend as your double del. After all, you feel comfortable and have a compatible personality with your best friend. It sounds fun and exciting in theory. What could go wrong? This outlook, unfortunately, is idealistic and fails to take many important factors into account.
#1 Increase in possible distractions
Let’s face it, when you’re with your best friend, there’s a natural inclination to want to talk to them about everything from gossip to your classes in school. Your best friend is someone you’re used to having fun with and not doing serious work with. Thus, you may find that in committee, you get distracted due to your best friend being next to you for the entire conference. Giving into the urge to talk to them about topics irrelevant to committee at inappropriate times can lead to cross talk, falling behind on writing and passing resolutions and directives, and other delegates not being able to talk to you. Approachability is important in any committee and if you are too preoccupied with your double del and everyone in your committee can tell you are best friends, other delegates may be less inclined to approach you or work with you.
#2 Compatible personalities ? Compatible work ethic
While with friends, the activities you are frequently doing are very different from the types of tasks you need to accomplish together in Model UN. Sure, you may be able to talk about your mutual favorite movies, go shopping at the same stores, and even give each other support and advice on your respective Model UN committees before and after conferences, but can you coordinate strategies? Do you both research the same way? Can you work together without either being a control freak or being careless?
It is likely that your friendship has not required you to talk or care about such things. While participating in a double del with your best friend, you may find that they prefer to do all their preparation the night before the conference while you like to evenly break up all of the work over the course of the time between receiving your assignment and going to the conference, making it difficult for you to coordinate and strategize before the conference. Even more important is during the conference. During the conference, both you and your double del must be on the same page about how to go about representing your country and staying on top in debate. Every delegate has a different style of debate and if yours and your best friend’s are too similar or too different, you will clash and the chairs will notice. Since you are best friends and are comfortable with each other, it is likely that this clash will occur and be even more prevalent than it would be in two delegates who did not previously know each other well. This could lead to resentment toward each other even beyond that conference, leading into the next point…
#3 Mixing personal with professional life gets complicated
In any committee, it is inevitable that at some point in your Model UN career you will make mistakes, not place at awards, and just not perform as well as you wanted to. If this occurs in a traditional single delegation committee or in a double del in which you are competing with someone not involved in your personal life, this will only incite personal growth and be a lesson for the future. However, with your best friend as your double del, this has the potential to ruin a meaningful friendship if blame is placed for not performing well. What happened in committee could affect what happens in your friendship outside of committee and vice versa, which leads to complicated situations.
You should, of course, maintain a professional friendship with your double del partner and be kind to them. However, your best friend may not be the best fit to work with you in a double delegation committee and if not, it would be far worse than an incompatible double delegation with someone else. So, if you ever find yourself competing in a double delegation, keep this in mind.
Related article: 3 Mistakes Every Delegate Makes at Their First Conference
Related article: Top Ten Things Your Double Del Partner Wishes You Would Stop Doing