Model Congress Trumps the Competition

Joseph Piccolo ’18
Summer Zajac ‘18
EE Staff Writers

Members of the Model Congress club in Washington, D.C.

On Thursday, November 16th, Trumbull High School’s Model Congress team embarked on a journey to Washington, D.C. to participate in a conference hosted by Princeton University. 26 students took part on the trip, as well as the club’s advisor Ms. Katie Boland and chaperone Mr. Michael Margonis.

The team participated in debates for approximately 25 hours over the course of four days, speaking on topics from the Voting Rights Act and free speech on campuses, to authorized use of the military and solar panels for schools.

To prepare for each conference, students are required to write their own bills ahead of time, and in smaller committees of 15 to 20 people, they are debated and voted upon.

Once a bill has been passed through a committee, there is a chance that it may be introduced in a Full Session of the House or Senate, meaning that it is debated again amongst a larger group of about 70 delegates. 20 out of 26 students had their bills passed through their committees, and seniors Jessica Parillo and Laura Rosales had their bills passed through Full Sessions of the House and Senate, respectively.

The team came away a record-breaking ten awards: Best Delegate Awards went to Ethan Bachand (House Committee on Energy and Commerce), Daniella Chuka (Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs), and Jessica Parillo (House Committee on Armed Services). Honorable Mentions were received by Kyle Beck (Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions), Shane Carley (Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works), Michael Cerulli (House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence), James Dubreuil (Senate Committee on Banking), Manan Manchanda (House Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship), Derek Marble (House Committee on the Judiciary), and Mimi Marino (House Committee on Science and Technology).

“The best thing about overnight conferences is always the people I get to meet and collaborate with,” says Senior Derek Marble, who is Co-President of the club. “Students from all around the country participate, bringing with them their own personal sets of beliefs, skills, and experiences to enhance debate as a whole.”

After their committee sessions, they were also able to explore D.C., visiting the Capitol, Supreme Court building, and the Smithsonian museums.

“While being in Model Congress committees gave us a simulated feel of how our government operates, being able to explore DC made it reality,” Senior Laura Rosales explained. “Touring capitol hill and walking the steps of the Supreme Court left us in awe of our American government. Especially because we got to see the filming of the notorious RBGs documentary.”
The Model Congress club looks forward to their varsity conference, which is at the University of Pennsylvania in the spring. Good luck to Ms. Boland and her club!

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