Any attempts to properly examine the correlations between these two activities, result almost always in a polite “pick whichever you want but if you choose x you will…” No matter the comparisons out there, the pivotal point of any respective discussion should focus on your degree, your wallet, your objectives and the organization of said activity.
This means, that if your studies allow you the time to join extracurricular activities, so be it, otherwise, your future wallet is there waiting for you! Do you plan to run for mayor or do you just want to be comfortable in a large room of people? Additionally, do you believe that the teaching opportunities will be increased when there is no one around to help you practice?
Let’s start with the common points for non-native English speakers:
·There is a lot of partying going on, on both occasions. Yes, debaters are very fun with booze and mun socials are better when alcohol is smoothening the pain of those painful but fabulously looking heels.
·You have to cooperate, yet maintain a personal style: Regardless of the format you will end up using (British parliamentary is a very common one), there will be a partner and there are rare occasions where there is one-on-one action. It’s something like MUNing in double delegation format, which is always interesting!
·You need to research all the time: If you end up just quoting in a MUN room you may be saved by your looks or the indifference of others. In a debate tournament (training session is just a safe playground) no arguments, means hellfire running down on your spine. Yes, you may be an amazing impromptu speaker (great imagination, rich vocabulary and tremendous capacity in lying) but that will not help a lot.
·You learn a lot by observing: MUN is commonly known as learning by doing and imitating good habits of other participants. How many times haven’t you wished to walk with the confidence that the delegate of X country had? In any debating tournament, you can learn even more because when using only pure argumentation to win everyone’s game is constantly on. Just observe the body language of the adjudicators and the finalists even that will help you more than you could think.
You really think it’s that different?
Now, let’s see some of the negative points (especially the ones that end up with bad stereotypes being created for both sides which are the main motive for this article)
·Organization wise, even bad tournaments are easier to logistically save than a bad MUN conference: The objective is one and simple, whereas in MUNs, the bigger the goal the bigger the downfall in the gossip lane your team is going to enjoy. Also, in debating a not so well performing speaker, means points for your team but in MUN this sometimes means an increase of toxic competition to push that person further down or to lose interest ourselves and just flirt around.
·Adjudicators and chairs: The former, has to work all the time is there, otherwise, the job is not going to be done well. The later has to moderate, lead, teach and adjudicate. This means that proper chairing is a very painful job to properly do.
·Gossiping is an actually constructive criticism: In both fields, you will see people who adore complaining but in the debater’s corner you will listen to more arguments than some adorably coy rumors that MUNers have enjoyed setting up on numerous occasions for numerous reasons!
·MUNs cost way more than debate tournaments: In both occasions, you have to pay a registration fee, travel to the place, sleep and feed yourself. If you get eliminated at an early stage, this means some touristy time as well. It’s the same with simulations, so the only way to keep your wallet healthy is to work around the fully funded opportunities that MUNPlanet, for instance, has to offer, or practice both just in your hometown!
To conclude, debating is purely connected to public speaking & argumentation, necessary life skills. MUN is the definition of diplomacy making, which is a very tricky and constantly expanding set of skills for one to master. Unfortunately, there are few models that show the real UN how it should be done, thus the amount of criticism towards the scope of the activity is critically high.In a debating tournament, you will learn how to be an Obama (insert inspirational figure of your choice). In MUN, you will have to learn your inner Obama to make everyone work with and for you.