Brown University Crisis Simulations (BUCS) Hosts Its Inaugural Session

by Emily on March 18, 2012

This recap was provided be Samuel Davidoff-Gore, Director of Outreach, BUCS 2012

New Zealand Permanent Representative to the UN, Amb. James McLay, delivers the keynote speech at the Opening Ceremonies.

Over the weekend of March 8, 46 delegates came to Providence, RI for the inaugural session of the Brown University Crisis Simulation (BUCS).  Despite the small numbers, BUCS proved to be an engaging and stimulating experience for the delegates as they tackled some of the world’s most pressing issues.

The conference opened with an inspiring speech by the Permanent Representative to the United Nations from New Zealand, Amb. James McLay. In his address, he spoke about the need to rely upon regional bodies when dealing with the world’s crises and the diminishing role of the United Nations in world politics, as most issues are intra-national, not international. Using Maori proverbs, he called upon the delegates to go forth boldly and shoot for a high mountain when trying to solve the crises at hand.

The crises themselves were fast paced and exciting. The small size of each committee allowed the crisis staff to personalize the crises for each delegate and create complex and interesting situations. In the Tamil Tigers simulation, the Sri Lankan Government was pitted against the LTTE in a war for their island. The crises included a failed peacekeeping mission by India, a hostage crisis where the LTTE kidnapped two of the Sri Lankan delegates, and a guerrilla war that would not end.

Delegates in the LTTE committee celebrate kidnapping two Sri Lankan delegates.

Just to the north of Sri Lanka and 30 years in the future, the Sino-Indian Conflict: 2022 threw the two sides into a vicious fight over a disputed region found to have precious metals. Throughout the course of the conflict, a nuclear meltdown threatened both nations, bi-lateral peace talks broke down as the Chinese delegates walked out of the room, and an all-out war broke out with India winning the battles, but China launching a nuclear bomb.

Delegates recreated the battle for Europe during the Napoleonic Era, representing either France or the Third Coalition. War and domestic politics influenced the decisions made in both committees as they faced the death of Napoleon and an affair between a French commander and Maria Carolina, the Queen of Sicily and Naples. At the end of the crisis, the Third Coalition had disintegrated after capturing Paris and the French had moved their capital to London.

Tensions rise as Chinese and Indian delegates confront each other.

Finally, the Men, Money and Munitions crisis let delegates take the helm of one of the largest defense contractors in the nation: Atlas Group. Throughout the weekend, they confronted increasing quarterly losses, a disgruntled President Rush Limbaugh, and a deal with the Russians to sell $80 trillion worth of planes at cost, leading to an imploding Executive Board.

For its inaugural session, BUCS was a tremendous success. Delegates had an extraordinarily good time dealing with these complex, intense, and creative crises as well as getting to know their fellow delegates. We hope that BUCS will grow over the next few years. We will continue to be committed to presenting smart, interesting, and engaging crises and to a personalized experience for the delegates. On behalf of the entire secretariat and staff of BUCS 2012, we invite you to take part in BUCS 2013.

Delegates from both committees prepare for one of the largest battles of the war.

See you next year!

You can see pictures from the conference at

You can read tweets from the conference @browncrisis.

Delegates debate whether or not to sell drones to the United States Air Force

The Sino-Indian Conflict: 2022 Crisis Directors speak at the Closing Ceremonies


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