FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 18, 2002
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
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
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.