Mock Congress Tackles Relevant Issues

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As Americans watch the actions of the United States Congress, waiting to see what they will do regarding the issues of semi-automatic weapons, stem cell research, sports concussion issues and more, Locust Valley students took matters into their own hands.

Congress In Action is an annual simulated role-play process that mirrors the functions of the actual House of Representatives. LVHS seniors enrolled in the Participation In Government class participated in the 25th annual event by presenting original bills, arguing the pros and cons of the bill, and then voting on each bill. Although American citizens are not watching and waiting for their decisions, the seniors themselves take the event very seriously, arguing their points with facts and emotions equally, as many of the topics are of personal importance to them.

Locust Valley Social Studies Coordinator David J. Ethe who organizes the event each year, with teachers Robert Levy, Katherine Murawski and Barbara Mierlak, explained that there is no better way for students to learn how our United States government works. “This program teaches the students how bills are originated, created and passed, and at the same time teaches them a plethora of skills that will aid them in college and in their future careers.”  These skills include public speaking, debating and research methodologies, as well team work and learning to compromise on solutions to current issues facing our nation.

Each student assumed the character of a member of the House of Representatives, developed a bill as part of a committee, and argued for the passing of the bill during the Mock Congress held in the high school auditorium. Each congressional committee chose a bill that could actually be proposed in the United States Congress. The bills were very topical, having a connection to current events including anti-alcohol advertisement and a military paternity act.

Lower classmen attended Congress in Action during their Social Studies classes and used the opportunity to learn about the intricacies of Congressional politics.  

This year’s Rules Committee was comprised of Gaetano D’Auria-Gupta as Speaker of the House; Gio Marciano as Majority Leader; Joseph Arias as Minority Leader; Isabella Allen as Majority Whip; James Sorbara as Minority Whip; Justin Derenthal as Sergeant in Arms; Christian Sodano as Public Relations Director; Sophia Pellegrini and Kyla Leis Donner as the Set Designers.