In committee, delegates will be assigned either a government official to role play. These range from Senators and Representatives in our Congressional committees, to member states in our international bodies. They work closely with our Harvard student staff in discussing the topics for their committee. In committee, they will draft legislation and resolutions, debate these, and vote to make the proposals pass or fail. The Harvard senior staff will chair the committee, which will be run according to parliamentary procedure, which will be explained to all delegates at the conference. The committee’s legislation will then be presented before the full sessions and international summits.
Another exciting and educational part of the conference is Harvard Model Congress’s court simulation programs. Court committees will follow legal procedure in place of the parliamentary procedure used by other deliberative committees. While they will not participate in full session, they will have increased time in committee to argue several different cases before courts presided over by Harvard staff members.
This is just a taste of some of the committees we have to offer. With 20 committees to choose from, there is something for everyone!
For more information on committees, please refer to our Registration Guide that can be found in the Registration Portal
United States Senate
The United States Senate is a 100-person legislative body that comprises one of the two chambers of the legislative branch of government. At HMCA, the Senate will be divided into committees by various categories of expertise and issues, similar to the way the actual US Senate divides itself. This year, the Senate will be divided into the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation (CST), Foreign Relations, and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) committees. Delegates will take on the roles of actual senators from various states within the United States. Each delegate will strive to accurately represent the views of his or her senator—including those based on the senator’s region, political party, and personal life—and build public speaking, leadership, and negotiation skills.
United States House of Representatives
The House of Representatives is the other chamber of the legislative branch of US government, and the two chambers are collectively called the Congress. Delegates will take on the roles of representatives from various states and—similarly to the US Senate—will be divided among committees analogous to House subcommittees. This year, the House will be split into the House Intelligence, Oversight and Government Reform (OGR), and Science, Space, and Technology (SST) committees.
National Security Council (NSC)
The National Security Council (NSC) is made up of a few cabinet members and other national security advisors such as the Secretary of State and Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, and the Directors of CIA and FBI. The council’s primary responsibility is to assist the President by advising foreign policy decisions and providing expertise regarding national security matters. Furthermore, after the President has made a decision, the members of NSC play an active role in helping implement that choice. The NSC is one of the most integral forum for serious national matters.
Supreme Court (SCOTUS)
The Supreme Court constitutes the highest level of the judiciary branch of the US government, and its goal is to render decisions that uphold and interpret the US Constitution. Delegates in the Supreme Court will work as teams of attorneys and argue constitutional issues in a fashion similar to the actual legal process of the US court system. Delegates will have to work with a partner before the conference to prepare arguments to make in front of the Court and will be expected to present the case in front of a panel of justices (judges), led by a Harvard staffer who will be acting as the Chief Justice. Throughout the entire proceedings, delegates will have to adjust and strengthen their cases while maintaining and building upon their oratory skills. There are no roles assigned to delegates in the Supreme Court, but delegates will have to craft their own arguments based on research and logic.
United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)
The UN Human Rights Council is a body within the United Nations that focuses on protecting human rights across the world and resolves situations that involve violation of human rights. The Council consists of 47 members states of the United Nations that are voted in by the UN General Assembly. More broadly, the UNHRC also makes recommendations and general guidelines on what is considered to be in violation of human rights and how states can correct those problems. The UNHRC office is located in Geneva, Switzerland.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
As the name might suggest the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is comprised of ten Southeast Asian countries including Singapore and Thailand. The goal of ASEAN is to promote economic growth and social progress. It also serves as a forum for the countries to be able to resolve any disputes and to protect the strength and stability of the Southeast region. Finally, the member states also have a commitment to aid one another in many factors of life and economy such as education, technology, agriculture, and industry.