By Andrew Schneider
In December, the Government Club participated in the 2011 Yale Model Congress Conference, the first of the two major events the club participates in each year. According to senior Zak Malamed, the club’s president, The Government Club “provides students with an opportunity to gain a better understanding of how government works through its participation in Model Congress conferences, political campaigns, political and social activism, in addition to hosting government oriented speakers.”
Yale Model Congress is one of the first Model Congress competitions to have been created. Students write and prepare bills which are introduced to specific subject committees like Homeland Security or Foreign Affairs. The bills are debated and the ones that pass are presented in full session. However, social studies teacher and club adviser Mr. Timothy Madden said, “the competition is not about getting bills passed, it is about learning about the processes of government, public speaking skills and of course having fun!”
South has been competing for over 14 years in the Yale competition, and Mr. Madden has been the trip advisor for the past 10 years. While there, students can win awards such as Best Legislator in Committee, Honorable Mention in Committee, Best Delegate in Committee, Honorable Mention in Full Session, Best Delegate in Full Session, and, for the school, Best Large Delegation. Additionally, the Best Delegate in Committee receives a gavel and the Best Delegate in Full Session receives a golden gavel.
Many South students won awards at the conference.
Sophomores Michael S. and Daniel Rosenfeld. and seniors Matt H. and Gabe C. received Best Legislator in Committee.. Junior Alex Chakrin. and seniors Zak Malamed, Brent Kane, Joshua Rosenfeld, Andrew Greener and Brian Rosenfeld all received Honorable Mentions in Committee. Finally, senior Jacob Roth received Best Delegate in Committee.
According to Daniel Rosenfeld, “debating bills was one of the most interesting aspects of the trip because there is such a wide variety of topics, ranging from legalizing prostitution to funding research in warp field generation. Another real highlight of the trip was definitely eating at Louis’, the restaurant that claims to have invented the hamburger.”