FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2005
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.— Birmingham-Southern College will host this month its 29th annual Model Senate, a “political science laboratory” that provides high school students with a unique and fun learning experience in government.
Nearly 100 juniors and seniors from some 60 Alabama high schools will transform themselves into politicians during the four-day workshop scheduled for April 7-10, 2005, on the BSC campus.
Emulating the men and women who make up the U.S. Senate, students will participate in party caucuses, committee work, and general Senate sessions. 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.
“By allowing high school students to assume the role of a U.S. senator, Model Senate helps them learn how issues are debated and laws are made,” said BSC Interim Provost Wayne Shew. “The event also gives high school students a chance to experience something of what life is like on a college campus by giving them the opportunity to interact with faculty and staff at Birmingham-Southern College.”
“We are very proud of the Model Senate program and all the people who make it possible. It is our desire that students leave our program excited about the political process and more confident in their own abilities as young leaders,” said BSC senior Josh Burgess, who along with BSC senior Chris Friedman, will coordinate Model Senate this year. The event will be staffed by 18 current Birmingham-Southern students.
Speaking to the students this year about constitutional reform will be Mark Berte, constitution reform lead organizer at Greater Birmingham Ministries.
Awards to be presented at the conclusion of the Model Senate include Most Influential Senator, Best Orator, Outstanding Leadership, Best Original Piece of Legislation, Best All Around Senator, and the Gail Morris Award for Student Leadership.
Two renewable $6,000 scholarships and two renewable $2,500 scholarships to attend Birmingham-Southern also will be awarded. Those competing for scholarships will submit essays and legislation on specified topics during Model Senate to be judged by a panel of BSC faculty members.
Students selected to participate in Model Senate have at least a B average and have demonstrated excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service