BSC Office of Communications

Your News Source for the Hilltop

November 18, 2002

Aspiring politicians set to begin simulated legislative session at Birmingham-Southern College

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The first gathering of the new Republican-controlled U.S. Senate won't be in Washington, D.C., in January. It will be at Birmingham-Southern College this week. And while the senators won't be real politicians, the issues will be the same, including homeland security and economic stimulus.

Nearly 100 juniors and seniors from high schools across Alabama will gather on the Birmingham-Southern campus Nov. 21-24 for the college's 27th annual Model Senate program. The four-day workshop is an interactive way for students to learn about government through debates and votes on public policy issues of statewide and national concern. The students also get acquainted with life on a college campus.

Resembling the current political makeup of the U.S. Senate, students will generate Senate sessions by participating in party caucuses and committee work. They also will research and write legislation, which will be introduced and then reviewed by appropriate committees before being taken up on the floor for full Senate action. The legislation to be reviewed this year includes homeland security, defense spending, energy and natural resources, economic stimulus, and healthcare.

Several real-life political leaders also are invited to speak at Model Senate each year.

“Based on the recent mid-term election in our country, Model Senate 2002 will reflect a similar balance between the two political parties among our role-playing politicians,” said Brad Green, a senior political science major from Corner who is serving as this year's Model Senate coordinator.

“I've known of only one other Model Senate being held in the Southeast,” added Green. “What sets ours apart is that it is run entirely by a staff of BSC undergraduates who are in charge of budgeting and hiring and managing staff for the event.”

Awards for Outstanding Senator will be presented at the program's conclusion. Two renewable $6,000 scholarships and two renewable $2,500 scholarships to attend Birmingham-Southern also will be awarded to participating seniors. Those competing for scholarships will submit essays on specified topics during Model Senate to be judged by a panel of Birmingham-Southern faculty members.

Students selected to participate in Model Senate have at least a B average in school and have demonstrated excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service.


Close Window