BICEN’s Road to States

Arnav Srivastava ’19
EE Editor-in-Chief

Throughout the years, Trumbull High School has established an impressive record in the BICEN “We the People” program, where seniors debate constitutional issues and modern politics while developing civic responsibility and a greater understanding of the US government. Since THS’s initial participation in the BICEN program 31 years ago, Trumbull has established an impressive record, having earned 7 consecutive victories from 2012 to 2018 to add to their 23 state champions in total.

As BICEN team member George James explains, “there’s a lot of pressure to win States. Eight years in-a-row isn’t going to be easy.” Nevertheless, the daunting task of upholding Trumbull’s reputation in the competition is a challenge that BICEN Class of 2019 is driven to take on. Since the beginning of school year, team coach Ms. Boland has been rigorously training BICEN students to grow as dynamic citizens of our community competent in American history and current events.

“Over the summer, I spent a lot of time learning court cases and American history, and all of this hard work set up a good foundation for our success in class,” explains BICEN member Katie Megale. “During the school year, I’ve been meeting a lot with my Unit, and the more time I spend, the better we perform overall.” Evidently, success stems from hard work, and the students’ determination to win states is clearly demonstrated in their rigorous study of the American government.

Yet at the same time, mastery of content is only a portion of the required components to be successful at BICEN’s state competition. The BICEN class is split into six separate “units” of four to five students, each of which focuses on a specific aspect of American politics and history. Therefore, while the seniors must be well-versed in their respective fields to synthesize a coherent argument, each Unit must also be able to work well as a team. Owen Hopwood, a member of Unit 1 which studies Enlightenment philosophers’ influence on the formation of the American government, explains the importance of teamwork in BICEN: “it’s been a real journey. Our group has done a lot of bonding and practice together, but there’s still a long way to go so that we can win states.”

Ultimately, BICEN’s steadfast success calls for a persistent effort to carry on the Boland legacy. Practice makes perfect, and BICEN has been constantly practicing from in-class “firing squads” where the seniors debate complex political questions, to presenting their arguments to prominent teachers and lawyers in “Evening with the Experts.”

Although BICEN Class of 2019 still has some ways to go, they are well on their path to success. Ivan Rosales optimistically agrees, elaborating “we’re going to keep pushing. I know that if we trust the process, we’re gonna do great.” Best of luck to BICEN on their state competition on December 17th.


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