Clash of the Models

Jared Levin Editorials Editor Model United Nations (MUN) versus Harvard Model Congress (HMC): the competition for the best simulation club at Latin.  For years Model UN has dominated the “club scene” with its high student involvement and presence throughout the school. However, over the past couple of years, a newer club, Model Congress -better known as Harvard Model Congress- has started to shake things up. Before we settle the question of which club is better, lets cover the basic similarities and differences between the two clubs.  The answer lies in the name: Model United Nations is meant to simulate the United Nations, whereas Model Congress is meant to simulate the United States Congress. This simple distinction sets a base for even large differences within the two clubs and the people who participate in them. Model UN is designed for students who want to tackle world problems such as the hunger and peace, while students who join Model Congress want to take on American issues such as healthcare. At our school, it seems as though Model UN still has the upper hand.  It has a larger number of participants and engages in four conferences during the year: two in-state and two out of state.  This year MUN has attended conferences at the University of Chicago, Michigan University, Boston University, and Northwestern University. HMC only attends Harvard’s Model Congress Conference (hence the name).   Daniel Egel-Weiss, a head of HMC, commented by saying, “So far, we have only gone to Harvard Model Congress. Hopefully in the next few years, they’ll start letting us go to more then one.” Even though HMC only attends one conference, it seems that their heads are well-organized and have done their jobs well.  “I’m very proud of how far Michael Malek and myself have taken Model Congress in our four years,” Daniel said, adding, “Model Congress holds a special place in my heart.” There are many factors that could determine which simulation club is better, and if you were to ask me, I would say MUN wins hands down (although I should add that I am one of the heads of MUN). If we were to go based on awards, MUN would seem more successful because it receives more individual awards and team awards than HMC does.  When asked about awards, Alex Kling, a junior member of HMC, said, “There are awards…we just have no idea if we have ever won.” Furthermore, if we were to go based student involvement, MUN would seem more popular.  MUN sends an average of twenty plus kids on each conference, and according to Kling, HMC has a total of “twenty or so” kids in the entire club. It may sound like a cliche, but in the end, it doesn’t really matter which club is better. They are both strong in their own ways. Both clubs are run well and are successful. The truth is, the two clubs are so different that they shouldn’t even be compared. Comparing the two is like comparing LAW and Free the  Children. So the next time I get the question, “Which club is better: MUN or HMC?” I will  respond by saying, “Whichever one floats your boat!”]]>