A Crisis Committee is a small body, with usually no more than twenty members, brought together to deal with an issue of immediate importance. While General Assemblies or Specialized Committees work to find long-term solutions to long-term problems, such as literacy, infant mortality, or economic coordination, Crisis Committees often handle short-term issues with swift and decisive measures. Crisis Committees often deal with issues like wars, revolutions, disaster control, or economic collapse.
Another key feature of a Crisis Committee is its dynamic nature. When the body passes a directive (a resolution for Crisis Committees), its effects and results are brought to the body in news articles and speakers. In other words, the topics will continue to change and evolve based on the actions the body does (or does not) take.
Finally, individual delegates can conduct personal actions by writing notes to MSUMUN’s crisis staff. If the character or country represented by the delegate can act in a certain way, that delegate is free to do so. For example, the head of the National Guard could send guardsmen to provide temporary disaster relief, a CEO could conduct corporate espionage, or a politician could organize a rally. These crisis actions cannot effectively solve the problems poised by the topics, but they can be instrumental in securing an advantage over the rest of the body.
The first and most important way to research is to read the background guide. It has information on every topic the Chair wants the body to address, as well as useful sources for further research. It talks about the relations between delegates, the opinion of the general public, and the assets enjoyed by the body. While doing well in the committee may require more research than just reading the background guide, it is impossible to do well without it.
Second, read up on your character or position. Get to know their individual positions and powers. If you are having difficulty finding out what your position entails, don’t worry. Its listed in the background guide.
Third, research the committee topics. They are likely to change as you go, so the more you know about them, the better prepared you will be for the twists and turns the crisis staff has in mind.
Finally, if you are having serious trouble, feel free to ask for help. More experienced crisis delegates on your team and your advisor can often lend a hand, and, as always, you can write to your Chair, to your Crisis Director, or to USG of Crisis at firstname.lastname@example.org to clear up questions you may have.
Stay in character! The Chair and Crisis Director made your position for a reason. Acting like your country or character is a great way to stimulate debate and gain recognition.
Be flexible! Ideas that are sound one minute can often be rendered moot the next. As topics change, so must you alter your approached to them.
Be ready to speak! With so few delegates it is expected to speak often in a Crisis Committee.
Don’t be tied to crisis notes! While individual action is fun, it is not nearly as effective as drafting strong directives. Being an active participant in the committee is a good way to demonstrate leadership and clear thinking.
Know your committee’s rules! Some Crisis Committees have unique rules or mechanics to more accurately reflect the workings of their topics. Mastery over these rules can be a strong advantage!
Focus on the purpose of the committee! War councils shouldn’t be concerned with domestic literacy rates. Election teams shouldn’t try to build spaceships. Remembering why your committee has been assembled will grant you clarity of purpose.
A Crisis Committee is a great place to launch schemes, test creative policies, and have a good time. Your enthusiasm will help push the committee forward!
Updated November 3rd, 2013