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Seniors Helen Astoria and Darrien Ward review senate bills of their “colleagues” in preparation of Mock Congress Dec. 7 and 8.

Seniors Helen Astoria and Darrien Ward review senate bills of their “colleagues” in preparation of Mock Congress Dec. 7 and 8.

Northgate Sentinel

Northgate Sentinel

Seniors Helen Astoria and Darrien Ward review senate bills of their “colleagues” in preparation of Mock Congress Dec. 7 and 8.

Seniors prepare to act as senators for annual Mock Congress simulation

November 30, 2017

Looks like Northgate’s congressional schedule is moving at a faster pace than Washington’s. In order to adjust for a shortened first semester that has finals taking place before the winter break, preparation for Mock Congress is already underway. Additionally, the senior class will be divided into five senates this year compared to four last year.

Each year, a simulation of the U.S. Senate takes place where seniors develop and present bills that get voted upon by fellow seniors. All day Dec. 7 and 8, seniors will embody senatorial positions to achieve a greater understanding of the legislative process. Before the actual event, seniors vote upon leaders to one’s respective political party which trickles down to an election to determine the president pro tempore of each senate. Bills will be debated among student committees, determining which bills are heard during the Mock Congress session. Before the session is adjourned, seniors will have debated, passed, or voted against bills, encompassing the complex legislative process.

Work is already underway to prepare for the congressional imitation and some students welcome the earlier schedule.

“Mock Congress for me started very early since AP Government did the bill over the summer,” said senior Ryan Roo, who hopes to introduce a bill that focuses upon medical and technology ethics. “I don’t mind starting earlier since I have to do it at some point.”

Meanwhile, most seniors are developing their proposals. “I want to ensure that everyone has an equal chance to be employed,” said Jade Wong, who is crafting a bill for LGBTQ+ employment protections. “Whether it is to work in what makes them happy, to achieve their full potential, or to make ends meet.”

Regardless of the changed timeline, Mock Congress is taking place around the same time period of years past. The benefit of the accelerated agenda is that there will be more refined bills on a variety of topics this year.

With the challenge of this schedule, other students are concerned about more pressure alongside schoolwork outside of government class. There is a lot on the line considering that Mock Congress serves as the semester final for the government classes.

“This was something that was expected going into senior year,” elaborated senior Frishta Alefi. “But there are other classes and college applications that demand attention alongside Mock Congress. At times it’s difficult to balance, but it’ll all work out in the end.”

Despite some current seniors feeling loaded down alongside Mock Congress work, a past Northgate student thinks it’s beneficial to get a head start.

“I don’t think it’s bizarre that the work is earlier but I think it’ll be more beneficial for the students,” said Selena Lin, a graduate of class of 2017. “They can have more time to find a pace and gather the materials they need for the assignment and the bills.”

Despite unease in regards to the accelerated timeline and concern over larger senates, the government teachers look forward to see how this year’s Mock Congress will go down.

“I’m very excited for Mock Congress this year,” government and economics teacher Jim Rodgers said. “Each year we get a little better, and last year’s Mock Congress was tremendous. There is a slight worry we have – the senior class this year is extra large, and some of our senates could be a little crowded.”

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