Model Congress holds two-day event at SHS


Amanda Morales leads her Civil Rights Committee to create a bill addressing police brutality.

Stroudsburg Model Congress has had another year of success during its 2016 conference. For over 20 years, 8th and 9th graders from the Stroudsburg Junior High School come up to SHS for a two day session in “congress.” Students can sign up for certain committees run by upperclassmen involved in Model Congress.

This years congress included six committees: Alternate History run by junior Jessie Boies, United Nations run by junior Timera Toppin, Armed Forces run by junior Pierce O’Dowd, Judiciary run by senior Sam Imber, Homeland Security run by junior Abigail Ferrier, and Civil Rights run by senior Amanda Morales. Over 80 junior high students chose which committee interested them, and began debating.

Students meet in three separate sessions throughout two days to discuss political issues relevant to their committee. Eighth and ninth graders debate on these issues and create a bill to present to the entire congress, in hopes of it passing into law. These debates allow students to expand their knowledge on national and international political issues, and push them to be more politically involved in the real world.

To make things more interesting, junior Will Safin and sophomore Tessa Whitely impersonated presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Safin and Whitely went around to each committee and campaigned for the positions of the two candidates. With the election quickly approaching, students got to hear where each candidate stands on political issues, with a little humor and personality added in. At the conclusion of the sessions, the junior high students voted for Hillary Clinton as their next president.

“It taught them to be better public speakers, to voice their opinions against contrasting ideas, and to compromise with others,” said junior Livia Marga, co-chair of the Judiciary Committee.

The club is advised by Mr. Thomas Kurnas with the help of Mr. Matthew Haggerty from the junior high school. Both teachers agreed that this years conference was “the best it has ever gone.”

President of Model Congress Lucas Wesselius took on the task of organizing the event along with Kurnas and Haggerty, and ran the mock-election as well.

“It was one of the most successful ones, the kids had a great time, and we’re looking forward to future conferences” said Wesselius.