Model Congress Starts the Year With Success at the Wilton Conference

Eric Sorge ‘19
EE Co-Managing Editor

Twenty-three members of Model Congress ventured to Wilton High School for the club’s first conference of the year on Saturday, October 13, with two seniors winning awards and many others participating in their first committee.

Trumbull and Wilton are part of the ‘Nutmeg League’, a coalition of local high schools that host day conferences. These conferences allow students to become familiar with the procedural nature of Congress, practice structured debate, and prepare for overnight conferences hosted by prestigious universities. They serve as a chance for new members to experience Model Congress for the first time, and for more seasoned participants to enjoy discussion in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Out of the 23 students that attended the conference, 19 of them were brand new to Model Congress,” said club adviser Ms. Boland, pleased by the willingness with which freshmen participated. “These conferences allow new members to get a taste of Model Congress and an introduction to parliamentary procedure and it allows the veterans to work on their skills and showcase their talents.”

The Wilton Conference was a bit unique in that delegates wrote their bills during the day. Those unfamiliar with making pieces of legislation to be presented in committee were afforded the opportunity to work with others to write effective and comprehensive bills. In this way, Wilton was very welcoming to newcomers and served as a great introduction to Model Congress.

Alexandros Raptopoulos, a freshman, said, “I wasn’t too nervous because I knew that it was a day conference… I like the fact that you made your bills in groups.”

While many spoke in committee for the first time at the Wilton Conference, a couple of senior members demonstrated their expertise. Soumya Ganti was recognized as an Honorable Mention in the Foreign Relations & Armed Services committee and Michael Cerulli, who served as the President of Wilton Model Congress, took home his fourth gavel after being deemed the Best Delegate in the National Security Council.

With competitive overnight conferences approaching, Cerulli, an Executive Board member of THS Model Congress, said, “I do plan on going to Penn and Princeton, and I hope to keep the streak of winning alive. More importantly, I hope to see our team as a whole continue to grow, prosper, and inspire new members to get engaged on the most important issues of our time.”

This first conference of the year was a major success for not only freshmen that participated for their first time and those that received awards, but also for all those that debated at the conference.

“I guess I can give special shoutouts to Josie Magnotti for presenting and defending her bill in committee, Mike Lancia for addressing the entire conference in the full Senate session as our Secretary of Defense during the crisis situation, and Chris Powell and Rohit Gunda for their passionate speeches during the full Senate session,” said Ms. Boland.

Wilton was an excellent start to a year of conferences in the Nutmeg and Ivy Leagues, and with the goal of claiming a second Best Small Delegation Award at the varsity UPenn Conference, Ms. Boland stated, “I’m proud of all the students!”

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