After years of participating in Model United Nations, an experienced delegate can recognize certain patterns in a committee. Whether it is the person who talks too much or too quickly, argues with the chair or other staff members, or just stays quiet the entire session, the same types of delegates tend to appear time again at conferences. They are what make conferences interesting, with each one contributing to the events that take place in a conference in some way. Model UN would not be the same without them.
THE GAVEL HUNTER
Constantly striving for success and recognition, the gavel hunter’s only goal is to walk away with a wooden, engraved hammer. Competitive and ambitious, they are not afraid to do whatever it takes to win in committee. Gavel hunters can often be seen chatting with the chairs after a committee session, garnering support from others in the room during breaks, and working after hours to perfect any resolutions they or their block may have developed during committee session. Gavel hunters tend to be experienced delegates, often already having a couple of awards to their name, and have an air of confidence that empowers them to speak at each and every opportunity. While competing against a gavel hunter can be intimidating, the best course of action is to differentiate your particular agenda from their own. Focus on unique solutions rooted in research that the gavel hunter likely hasn’t done.
The poets of the Model UN world, the author spends most of their time preparing speeches novice delegates dream of writing. An expert at the procedure and resolution writing, they can change a block’s resolution from good to great in a General Assembly. In crisis committees, their speed writing skills are unmatched, allowing them to produce public directives faster than anyone else in committee. A copious note-taker and expert listener, the writer is consistently immersed in thought. While they may not be the most forthcoming speaker, their commentary is intelligent and always appreciated, able to shift the committee’s focus from one topic to another. The writer is a great ally to have and can be especially helpful to newcomers aiming to learn the skills behind writing resolution papers and directives.
Diligent and tireless, the die-hard delegate is the most committed person in the room and wants everyone to know it. Dressing the part, a die-hard delegate matches their outfit to the chosen attire of their respective countries. If they are portraying a historical figure, they may even copy their mannerisms and likeness, confusing the other delegates and chairs alike in the process. Die-hard delegates bring tons of research they never end up using and focus on getting their country or individual’s agenda passed at the expense of compromise, making the resolution process in General Assemblies difficult if a chair limits the amount of resolutions delegates can submit. Usually, the die-hard delegate is an anxious newcomer or frustrated veteran, and when dealing with them, it is important to reassure them of their performance, even though they will likely win a verbal commendation.
Goodhearted and kind, the diplomat is the person who lightens up the committee room. The diplomat is always looking for solutions, even between countries or individuals who never would compromise in reality. Even if the chair does not agree with the palpability of their actions, the diplomat’s uplifting appeals can make even the most tedious conference more lively for everyone involved. The diplomat goes to Model UN conferences without the intention of winning awards because “Model UN isn’t about the award,” and yet they still seem to win an award at every conference.
The polar opposite to the diplomat, the Warhawk seeks to create chaos at every turn. While not as prominent in General Assemblies, Warhawks dominate the high-stress world of crisis committees, requesting invasions, kidnappings, murders, battles, and bombings through public directives whenever they can. They call for military formations and strategies nobody else has heard about, and are fond of the more complex and difficult to find solutions. Similar to the gavel hunter, the Warhawk is a fierce debater and expert researcher. They enjoy delving into their topics of interest and enjoy engaging in discussions about foreign relations and historical events during breaks in committee. While a Warhawk can be a strong delegate to have on your side and very influential in the committee, they can alienate other delegates more focused on peaceful and inexpensive solutions.
The mastermind works behind the scenes to make sure everything goes their way. A master manipulator, they control the major events occurring in a committee. In General Assembly committees, masterminds work through other delegates to control what goes on what the committee focus on and what goes on a block’s resolution paper; in crisis committees, they use their back-room notes to create new problems for the committee, shifting the course of events to go in their favor. Masterminds can be dangerous to have around, as you can never be certain of their true intentions. However, working a trusted mastermind can be of great advantage, as they can help you exert great influence over the other delegates in the room.
Ironically, last but certainly not least, the underdog enters committee anxious and inexperienced and starts off terrified of confrontation and public speaking. Following the pack, they usually listen to the block leader’s directions without question at first. As committee progresses, the underdog starts taking bolder stands and attracts a loyal bloc. Even though you may not notice the underdog at first, you will remember them as they get called for an award at closing ceremony.