Types of Debate

Formal Debate/Speaker’s List: During formal debate, the dais observes the speaker’s list and delegates speak in the order by which they are listed. The default speaking time is 90 seconds. Delegates may use this time to make policy statements on the topic at hand.

Informal Debate: While in informal debate, delegates are not permitted to make motions until the time for the informal debate has ended. The two types of informal debate are moderated and unmoderated caucuses.

Moderated Caucus: During a moderated caucus, the rules of formal debate are suspended and the chair will simply call on those delegates wishing to speak at their own discretion. To transition from formal debate to a moderated caucus, a delegate must make a motion to enter into a moderated caucus. This motion must include a specified topic (typically a sub-topic of the main discussion), duration of the caucus as well as the time each speaker will be allotted. Moderated caucuses are used to discuss issues that concern the entire committee or that the country would like to see addressed in a solution. You will spend most of your time in a moderated caucus during committee.

Unmoderated Caucus: An Unmoderated caucus is the least formal form of debate. When a motion for an unmoderated caucus is passed by the committee, delegates are free to move around the room, and openly discuss the issues with any other delegates of their choosing.  This is an opportunity to solidify bloc positions, draft the text and language of resolutions or get votes for their resolution. In order to motion for an unmoderated caucus, the delegate need only specify the duration of the caucus, however, in some instances a purpose may be expressed as well. Used sparingly in committee, but very important for forming blocs, alliances, and writing working papers.